To Know and Be Known
Pastor Ryan - April 23, 2023
“We have to go to church today.”
Those are the words of my 12-year-old son to his mother. “We have to go to church” he continues “because I’m needed.”
He’s right, and on so many levels. For him it’s all about the candles. He is an acolyte and loves to wear the alb (the robe-like garb) and light the candles. It’s an opportunity to be a part of worship and help out, and he gets to do it with his friends from confirmation. However, it’s his statement that he is needed that gets my attention. Lighting candles is needful, and having youth do that is a blessing to our congregation. What he doesn’t see is that his presence is powerful. By being at worship lights shine; literally candles are lit, but metaphorically he is connecting with others, usually confirmation aged kids. Because he is at Church and they are at Church collectively they have so much more. More than whatever they are getting out of the sermon, more than what they might learn at confirmation class, more than whatever else they might have used that Sunday morning for. They are developing deep relationships with their LORD and each other.
In the same way that my children feel so needed at worship each of us has our place. We bring something to the lives of those around us. It may be subtle, the comfort of seeing the familiar face and smile as we share the Peace of Christ; or more overt, as we linger and talk about life in the Lower Commons. Whether we are making plans to set up a vacation together or simply singing together, each of us brings something special to the Body of Christ. We enrich the lives of those around us.
Since we’ve been back from Covid it is so clear that gathering in a physical space is a gift, not something we should take for granted. Doing so takes time and energy, especially with children. But there is no substitute for deep relationships and those are forged when you know and are known. We all have a place at our church home, but I think we have forgotten a simple truth: I’m needed.
Church is so much more than picking up our salvation and going about our lives. It is developing relationships with our LORD and savior and those of His Body. Relationships that will last us our whole lives and forever into eternity. This thing we do, Church, is so much more than a Sunday obligation; it’s almost like God knew what He was doing, what the best way for His people to grow in relationship with Him and each would look like.