This came from Rev. Matt Dobyns in God Pause, a devotional email from Luther Seminary, and I had to share:
I hear with some regularity that church is only a place people go to feel good for a time. I guess that when we are in the presence of the promises of baptism and communion this is probably the case, but I think there is much more to it than that. I think something happens when we are welcomed into the presence of our shepherd even while the stench of our sin is on us. God's promise takes hold of us and transforms us. No doubt this ought to make us feel good. And when we get back to our everyday lives we can rest assured that we are not on our own. God does not abandon us. We have been cleansed and set free. That is a promise I hold close.
Loving shepherd, thank you for wiping away my sin. Transform me to be your loving presence in this world. Amen.I especially like the prayer at the end. Church IS more than just going to feel good for a time. No, church (or I would say worship, study and prayer) is a place to go to be transformed. God has work for us to do, and we need the community of others in Christ to be strengthened for that work.
Surely is something to think about - that “church” isn’t just all about me!