Do you ever find yourself wondering what it is we are doing together at this thing we call church?
It’s likely that many of us find ourselves at The Table for different reasons. Maybe we were raised in church and so Sunday morning has been a built-in rhythm of our lives for a long time. Maybe some of us identify as more spiritual than religious, or vice versa. Maybe you’re not sure, or no answer comes readily to mind when you ask yourself the question, “Why do I go to church?”
For me, the summer months often prompt reflection. My typical schedule of life has been somewhat altered or amended, and so a natural curiosity arises. Is my typical schedule what I want? How did that become “typical?” Simply put, why am I doing the things I’m doing?
As I reflect, I am feeling grateful that at The Table I find myself surrounded by people who are committed to patiently walking together as we attempt to figure out how to be faithfully present right where we are at — in both space and time.
As we gather each Sunday around Holy Eucharist, around the mystery of Christ’s presence among us, we are learning to be present. Present to ourselves. Present to one another. Present to how we are feeling. Present to our neighborhoods, our city, our state. As we grow in our ability to be present in each of these ways, we are also growing in our ability to be present to the Divine. As we extend our hands and receive the bread and wine, we are practicing presence.
There is so much more to be said about why we gather the way that we do. Books upon books have been written about the shape of the liturgy and what happens, theologically speaking, as we gather. I love those conversations. I love those books. This isn’t the forum for that. Sometimes we do ourselves a disservice by skipping right into deep study. Don’t hear what I’m not saying — I am not decrying diligent study.
Today, I want to invite you to bear witness to the beauty of this part of the church’s work — to pursue not just knowledge, but to pursue faithful presence. That pursuit frees us from the burden of having to nail it, and instead energizes us to move towards one another, even in a lack of certainty.
I am very grateful for the work God is doing knitting our lives together at The Table.
Beloved, may the God who is three-in-one continue to draw us into an incarnate life, and may God sustain us as we fight to find our way into being fully and faithfully present right here.