It is Good to be in Church!


I’m excited about the upcoming baptism of our infant grandson Steven Luke, and we are aiming for his baptism to be at CCOV on Mother’s Day, May 12!  I will baptize him with the prayerful expectation that his parents raise him with Christian values and in a Christian community, which doesn’t have to be ours.  Yes, I will heartily encourage his parents to find a church in their neighborhood, because the burdens we all carry, including in child rearing, are too much for each of us to bear alone.  A good church like ours helps us share and shift the weights we all carry; indeed, it takes a village.  

I knew this well when my own daughter was an infant.  The people of the church supported me when my husband was consumed with Army duties and I was alone living across the country away from family.  The church people supported us, advised us, watched our baby when I had a dentist appointment, and became our new family.  Because of it, we felt less alone in the world.  As our daughter grew, Sunday school teachers, youth pastors, and church friends reinforced and taught the Christian values we endeavored to communicate at home.

Oh, I know.  Young people today often say the same things: “I’ll pass on joining anything,” or “I just don’t believe in organized religion.”  It kind of reminds me of a joke told by the character Rorschach in the graphic novel Watchmen:  A man goes to his doctor and says he’s depressed because life seems harsh and cruel.  He says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain.  His doctor says, “The treatment is simple.  The great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight.  Go and see him.  That should pick you up.”  The man bursts into tears and says, “but doctor, I am Pagliacci.”  

The world holds many temporary distractions, but they are only facades.  The clown embodies the facade but knows he needs something real, something deeper to help him in the harshness and cruelty of life.  A good church provides meaningful connection and community, which all of us need.  In church we experience again and again the grand drama of God’s salvation, which beckons us to come out of ourselves, out of our own show, to take a seat at God’s ever-widening table.  It is good to be there for one another in church!  

Grace and Peace, 

Co-Pastor Sandi