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December 2021

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Why join a church?

As I try to remember why I do this for a living, here are a few reasons to consider joining a church.

  1. Joining a church is to commit to a social circle you do not get to choose. It can, therefore, show you whether your spirituality is authentic or not.

  2. Joining a church is a way of practicing, among a small group of people for a significant period, what you’d like the world to be like.

  3. Joining a church is to live in rebellion against the forces that are brainwashing you into making your consumer desire the center of the world, reducing all your experiences of the world (including all the people in it) to instruments and resources.

  4. Joining a church is to organize your life around a time to confess your limitations, culpability and imperfections together with other people, so you can get used to receiving divine forgiveness and hope in response to your honesty.

  5. Joining a church is to resist all traditional loyalties to state, party, culture, family, or affinity, in an act of loyalty to a group that transcends all natural categories.

  6. Joining a church is to organize your financial priorities around supporting an inclusive community for vulnerable people with whom you actually have to live.

  7. Joining a church is to cultivate an environment unlike your home, work, or play, where your life is not measured according to any other purpose or goal than to discover and enjoy your own humanity.

  8. Joining a church is a way of maintaining healthy skepticism about human knowledge and capacities in the language of divine mystery.

  9. Joining a church is to cultivate an imagination for how your unique talents and creative potential can be offered for love instead of money.

  10. Joining a church is a life lesson in how to deal with difficult people without retaliating, dehumanizing, or running away, in the desperate hope of not becoming a difficult person yourself.

What is the treasure? Perhaps it is the price of walking in integrity. To find the pearl of great price is to find your life lived in the will of God, as a servant of the Lord of Love, and the Prince of Peace. Perhaps the real
treasure of living is to know and serve each other—the human family—and discover in this our true calling, our real selves. To be formed for action, both redemptive and heroic, is to truly live.

~ Pastor Linda