Does Church Matter?
I’m convinced most human beings are innately curious about spiritual things. We recognize there’s a spiritual element to life that can’t necessarily be explained; yet, it’s there nonetheless. We can even be drawn to it unknowingly.
After all, being part of a playoff baseball game in a stadium full of people is a spiritual experience of sorts.
That’s how I felt when the Red Sox finally won the World Series in 2004. I’m not even their fan, but I was rooting for them with my friend Bob, who’s diehard, and who told me they hadn’t won it since 1918. I was moved to my core with the rest of the fans when their team finally broke the “Curse of the Bambino.”
Getting a sneak peak at a highly anticipated movie in a packed theater can also be a spiritual experience.
In 1997, when my wife and I were dating, we got tickets to a preview showing of Titanic. It was intense, and the theater was silent the entire three hours. We all walked out quiet and somber. Without a doubt, it was spiritual like no other movie, which is why it’s still the highest grossing release of all time.
Watching your favorite band at a sold-out show can be a spiritual experience too.
It was for me when I saw U2 on their Joshua Tree tour at the Orange Bowl in Miami back in 1987. It was amazing. It took hours for the stadium to empty out because no one wanted to leave. We were moved deep down and didn’t want it to end.
Most people are interested in spiritual things on some level and curious to understand them more. And many of us recognize that church at least should be a nexus and catalyst for spiritual matters.
Just as joining a gym keeps us accountable in our health, church can keep us in check spiritually. It can help us attain healing and wholeness deep down. It seems to function much like a combination spiritual gym and hospital. It challenges and trains us to grow beyond who we are, so we can be better equipped to go out and meet the world each day. Doing life can be draining, so we need help in refueling. Doing life can be confusing, so getting a little guidance doesn’t hurt either.
That’s why I think church continues to play some part in many peoples lives. Certainly, you don’t have to go to church to be spiritual. But it’s hard for me to separate regular church attendance from my spiritual health over the years.
What do you think?