Recently in a conversation with someone who does not attend church, the phrase, “I’m spiritual, but not religious,” was uttered. “I mean, I pray every day and all," they said, " but…” was their “excuse” for not attending a church.
One of these days I’m going to have an appropriate response to that statement – maybe! When I do, I suppose I’ll write the book that makes lots of money (imagine me with a grin on my face – it’s certainly meant to be a tongue-in-cheek comment).
Seriously, what I did say was something about how the community of church is what is important to me. That came to mind because a part of the conversation before their comment was about how much another community had meant to this person, so it seemed appropriate.
Then this prayer came by email in “God Pause,” the Luther Seminary daily devotional, and I thought, that’s it! That’s a good response to why “spiritual, but not religious” as an excuse not to participate in church doesn’t work for me. Here is the prayer:
Dear Lord, as we step into our church, give our souls rest. And as we step out again, guide our heart’s purpose. Amen.My prayer is that all of your times in worship - gathered in community, fed by the word and meal, then sent back out as the church in the world – be a time of soul-resting and purpose sending.