A Community

On Sunday we returned to our 'home church'.
This is the church Spencer grew up attending,
and the one we went to until we made our move to Portland.
The church family warmly welcomed me first as Spencer's girlfriend,
then as the newest Smid back in January of 2008. 
I have come to love the congregation and always 
feel a sense of 'coming home' when we return.

There really is nothing that can replace the community of church.
A congregation of sinners,
each with our shortcomings who all clearly fall short of the glory of God.
But really, I think that is what makes it so beautiful.
We put aside our selfishness, our pride,
our messed up lives for a short time to come together and worship our King.

As we sang Agnus Dei on Sunday morning,
I felt overwhelmed as my eyes scanned the people.
Some had their hands lifted in praise,
some had their heads bowed in reverence.
There we all are, worshiping the same God together.
The one who made each of us in His image.
The one that holds us in His hands as we just try and make to the next day.

It would be so easy for me to walk into that room,
with the little knowledge of the people that I have,
and pass judgement - whatever that would look like.
As my eyes scanned the room I saw people who are
battling cancer, working through a troubled relationship,
dealing with an unruly child and working through the loss of a loved one.
A parent who is hurting for their child and is looking for guidance themselves.

All of these things,
yet here we are,
singing out praises to God
because we know He is sovereign.
That whatever struggles,
pains, mistakes we have
in our heart - or out there for all to see-
it is all erased when we come before the King.

It makes me so thankful
to have these people as part of my church community.
It makes me realize what an importance church is in my walk with Christ.
 I am thankful for a church to call home
and the freedom to worship our Lord.

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