faith is more than attending church

while it can readily be observed that many people do the church-going thing with not much else to show for in how they live, how they make decisions, how they (don’t) relate to people, how they (don’t) participate in the life of the community and the church, how they (don’t) think about the substantial issues impacting society, there’s still something about the weekly church rhythm, some arguably say that it’s some kind of sabbatical rhythm and covenantal signage.. I missed the morning schedule while on my Raleigh road trip, but made the drive back to DC, and thought of my options for an evening service, and long story short, made it to Grace DC, circling Dupont Circle like a dozen times, before finding the place, just in time for the sermon, enthusiastically delivered by the pastor, partook communion, and even met fellow blogger Roland in person for the first time..

it was wonderful to see the large crowd gathered, about 250 in all, packed into a basement hotel room, mostly young adults, with a smattering of Asian faces too, and I have to say, it’s a distinct niche to have a distinctively intellectually engaging sermon, rather than a typically easy to find “spiritually encouraging” sermon with no more than the substance of any off-the-shelf self-help book or chicken-soup-for-the-soul devotional heart-warming story.. I’ve read my share of inspirational, motivational, and how-to books, and God knows I sorta needed them with all the issues I’ve had to (and continue to) work through in my mess of a life, but the underlying theme of having to get myself revved up to make changes in my life, to make it better, becomes such the pressure, the psychic pressure, that it’s just too heavy of a load for a non-type-A person like me to bear.. I don’t do well with that kind of pressure, it’s plain crushing.. and what’s refreshing and freeing about hearing the Gospel message, the teachings based from John 8 this past Sunday, taught Redeemer-style, is that the pressure’s off, b/c Jesus has already lived the life I should have lived, and I am now free.. free to live, free from the obligation and pressure to become beautiful, accomplished, status-endowed, credentialed-by-letters-after-my-name, conform to a social group, what have you.. just to live and be me, becoming what God enables me to be..

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