Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New Home

Sunday marked yet another milestone in our life. We finally officially became members of our church. We've been there about a year and a half, have taken the membership class, were interviewed by the elders, then finally had our Sunday where we went up front and were made official. I think joining a church is a little scary, but also an exciting thing to be celebrated.

I didn't grow up as a church member. I was a military kid; we moved frequently. As such, my parents didn't want to become members and affect the church's financial decisions with their voting rights, and then move again 2-3 years later. It didn't stop them from being involved and building bonds. The speed at which they became deeply involved in a new church was amazing. That requires a bravery that I don't have yet. Perhaps it grows from necessity. They led Bible studies, sang in choir, taught Sunday School, led the kids choir, etc. They made an impact. They let themselves be known, knew others, and built relationships for themselves and their two girls. That was a wonderful example for me as to how to dive into a church.

However, one the of scars of my military childhood is that I lean a little too heavily on my autonomy. I lose contact with friends too easily. I say goodbye too easily. I have lots of surface-friends, but struggle to go deep with people. Yet, God calls us to give up our autonomy. We are not singular, we are part of a body. We have no strength or sufficiency in ourselves; we need Him, and on earth, we need His family.

So, this weekend, we made it official. We need to strive to be less autonomous, to be part of this specific church body and be accountable to its leadership. I'm officially a Presbyterian; our church is part of the Presbyterian Church in America. I'm loving our covenant theology and reformed teaching.

This reminds me of when you are in a dating relationship and first say "I love you." It's exciting to know that you are going to develop a more intimate relationship with someone and know each other more deeply than anyone else. But it's scary to open yourself and give of yourself to another. What if you are hurt? What if you regret it? You are passing a threshold. That's where we're at. The Church is God's way of expressing His body on earth and to His children. It is how he works in our world. I know I have nothing to fear. He is the God of peace and this is His house. Church is His plan.

At least if I have to be passing over a threshold, it's straight into the Lord's house!

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