“All Evil Things Come From Within”
I knew it was going to be a good service when the pastor said these words. Today was my first time at church in a few weeks due to vacations, moving in, and school starting. It was time to get back to church and start my day off right! I tried a new church at school today. I went to church on campus all through freshman year, and then stopped going my sophomore year because of some issues (i.e. exercise addiction, school work consuming me, no one to go with anymore). But now I realize that church is a time not only for fellowship, but it is a time for me to be by myself, an individual, with God. So I woke up this morning, made myself cute (I just love dressing up for church!), and braved a new church. WOW am I glad I did!
Here are the highlights from the sermon that I wrote down:
- This weekend is labor day. The pastor expressed the hope that although we celebrate labor day by taking a break from labor, she hoped that whatever we are doing with our lives is what we desire to do and not what we think we ought to do.
- What defiles us is not what we take in, it is what comes out of us. Our words, actions, ect.
- Desire is blissful because there is a certain certainty that our desire will someday be fulfilled.
- Talk is talk, work is what counts. Or try this, we can look the part in the mirror all we want, but if we don’t have the actions and the attitude, our look is deceiving.
- The Christian life is responding to love. It is not about achieving the perfect faith.
The sermon was short yet sweet. I took a lot out of it. But what really made my day at church so much more than just a day at church was that it was communion Sunday. This is my favorite Sunday at church because it represents a chance to come to the table with God and allow the meal he serves to me to renew my spirit. He makes me contemplate what I am doing in my life, and what steps I need to take to live a more fulfilling life through him. It is my opportunity to realize that I am worth it. God wants me at his table, and he loves me.
After church there was a welcome lunch for college students. I wasn’t going to go. I needed to get home to my books and my cleaning. But then all of a sudden I decided that I was going to stay. I didn’t have to eat if I didn’t want to. But I should not pass up this opportunity to meet new people. Isn’t that what I wanted this year to be about? Meeting new friends, having new experiences, and letting go a little. So I went, I sat down at a table with people I didn’t know, and I became part of the conversation. And I had a good time. I left feeling amazingly fulfilled and happy. I think this is the opportunity I have been looking for.
So my next step is to go to Cooper House (which is the campus ministry house associated with this church). They have a weekly dinner every Tuesday that is for fellowship and fun. It is catered by this great vegetarian restaurant in town called Gillies (best breakfast ever!). And it will be another opportunity for me to go out and try something new and slightly uncomfortable for me. I am not great in groups of people. I don’t make conversation easily. I don’t always feel like I am fitting in. But I have had enough of that. So what if I am uncomfortable the first few times. The new director said she was too the first time she went to her campus ministry house. So I am not the only one. And I bet I am not even the only one there Tuesday who will be slightly uncomfortable.
I am just so thankful that I have been given the tools and opportunities to conquer my fears and live. This year is my year to build my individuality, make new friends, and live an exciting life.
I like to think it all started when I broke that piece of bread and drank from the cup.