So, every time I sit down to blog, I think about the blog I’m not writing. That would be the one about church stuff.
We left our church home of almost ten years last year. We’ve floated around for about six months, and I think we’ve finally found a new place to attend.
The good parts? It’s only five minutes away, it’s got amazing Sunday school programs, the teaching is Biblically solid and theologically robust, it’s very welcoming, we already know a lot of the people there, and did I mention that it’s five minutes away?
The bad parts? Well, it’s not Anglican. And we still miss our old church.
We did try to find another Anglican church. There was the one that was a smallish start-up that then went on hiatus. There was the beautiful, wonderful one . . . that was very far away. Far enough on a Sunday when there was no traffic and way, way too far at any other time of the week, as the road there is made up of super-cloggy freeways. There was no way we could go there and become part of parish life; it was hard to be part of parish life at our old church because of distance, and this one was even further away.
So, are we still Anglican? Well, yes, theologically. I still believe that the theology in the Book of Common Prayer is the truest depiction of Christian dogma I’ve ever found. Are we still going to celebrate the church year? Yep. I still love the way it tells my children the gospel every year through fast and feast. Are we hoping to go to an Anglican church in the future? Yep. I’m hoping ACNA takes off and that someday we can be part of an Anglican church plant near our home. If the Lord wills. (Though if we really become a part of this new church, that may never happen for us, and I know that.)
But right now, the reality is that there is no orthodox Anglican church nearby. And there is a wonderful, welcoming, orthodox evangelical church nearby, where my children can learn about Jesus every Sunday, and where my husband and I can worship God with fellow believers. So we’re going to go there. Because it is good to go to the house of the Lord.
It’s funny. I think the sacraments are important. I also think Bible teaching is important. I think the one leads you to the other, and vice versa. But we have spent ten years at a sacrament-heavy, teaching-light church. Maybe it’s really hard to get that balance right, and what we need now is to be part of a church that’s the opposite. (Both churches do teach the Bible and practice the sacraments – don’t mistake me. The emphasis in both is just very pronounced . . . and opposite.)
I don’t know. I don’t know all the whys. I do know that I’m finally (finally) at peace about where we’re attending. I do know I’m very grateful to the people at this new church who are doing such a faithful job of preaching the gospel, and who are so very welcoming.
I feel like a refugee that’s found a place that’s offering showers, bed, and a hot meal. So it’s not my favorite meal. So what? It’s wholesome and I’m hungry, and I’m not going to complain. I’m just grateful to be fed.
And the people offering it are offering it in the Lord’s name; it’s been evident in all our interactions with people at this new church that they love the Lord Jesus, and that the kindness they’re extending to us is the kindness they themselves have received at His hands. They understand the part in the Bible about hospitality to strangers. It’s really beautiful.
I know it’s corny, but what keeps going through my head is, “You can’t always get what you wa-ant. You can’t always get what you wa-ant. But if you try sometimes, you might find . . . you get what you need.”
I think the Lord’s giving us what we need. And I am so glad.
peace of Christ to you,