Over and over angels, Spirit, and Jesus remind us to not give ourselves to fear. I don’t believe we live in a time which is any more violent or oppressive than any other time. I do believe that we live in a time where mass violence is more easily enacted and that fear mongering is more easily spread.
Sometimes I wonder if going to a worship service holds any meaning. Why get up on a Sunday morning when we are already so tired and so busy? How does it help?
Earlier this week I went to a concert at Culver Academy. Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals were performing. It seemed to me that everyone left the auditorium that night feeling good, possibly inspired. The words and music were uplifting and energizing. That night I heard Good News. It wasn’t preaching … it wasn’t focused on Jesus … but still I heard Good News.
When we rehearse in our minds, hearts, and spirits the voices of bad news then we can become despondent and lifeless. Everything looks bad. Even the good things that we can see are filtered through a gauze of sadness and hopelessness.
We must not give in to the bad news and let it take our lives away. This is the purpose to church. To remind us that there is Good News. To inspire us to face the bad news filtered through a gauze of hope and life. Church is also a place to build determination to be a light in the world and not a damp wet soggy rag.
Gathering together for the purpose of being inspired, determined, and hopeful is the best that a worship service has to offer. There will always be bad news. We might feel like we have little we can do to change what is going on. But if we give up altogether then bad news has won.
Don’t give up. Rehearse in your mind, hear, and spirit that there is good in the world – that life holds beauty. Consider coming to church to gather together for mutual inspiration.
Philippians 4:8New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
8 Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.