Every so often, someone asks me why I make the effort to go to church-it's early, it's sometimes my only sleep-in day (now that I have National Boards on various Saturday mornings), and it's mostly just sitting and listening. Sometimes I even ask myself this question. The answer: I go because it's beautiful.
On Sunday, there was a 91 year old man who got baptized. Ninety-one! He just became a Christian a few months ago, and wanted to be baptized, so there he was. I got nervous when they dunked him (he seemed a little fragile), but I also cried, because I mean, what better a picture of new life, at any time, through Jesus. It was pretty cool.
Another time, we were doing communion and I noticed a man in a wheelchair a few rows in front of me. He seems to be completely paralyzed, based on his wheelchair and such, but I don't really know all the details. But, when it was time to take communion, the usher standing near us quietly leaned over and placed the communion cracker in his mouth, and then helped him sip the grape juice by holding it to his lips. I seriously think it might have been the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.
Sometimes, when we're singing, all of my doubts and questions and worries go away, for just a few minutes. I feel the peace and truth of God while I sing songs about him. Usually they are the hymns or some other song with lyrics that aren't incredibly repetitive. And even if the sermon was boring (which it usually isn't. I'm just saying), and even if I'm sleepy and hungry, those two minutes make the whole thing worth it.
And every week, we end the service by everyone reciting the benediction: "May the amazing grace of the master Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with us all."
That's why I go to church.