I spent the morning with my parents at a great church in London-Trinity Church. It was really contemporary, complete with a rock worship band and a coffee bar. Instead of listening to a sermon by the pastor, there was a reenactment of the moments and events after Jesus rose from the dead. And I was able to have communion for the first time in almost 2 years.
And everyone sat on mats on the floor.
Which I loved.
I found myself drawn to the music, the atmosphere, and the parishioners...who were kind and welcome. I felt relaxed and at ease.
Which is actually a big deal.
You see, after my horrific experience doing mission work teaching English in Guatemala with a "Christian" organization (more like a cult...) I haven't had the desire to go to church. I didn't want to be associated with a group of "Christians" who acted like the people I worked for. If those people called themselves Christians, I wanted nothing to do with it. They were judgmental, Biblically legalistic (living by the law of the Old Testament), and downright hypocritical.
For example,(and this is just one of MANY) one day I was called into a three hour meeting with the organization's "Church Leader" who proceeded to tell me how immoral my tattoo was. MY BIBLE VERSE TATTOO. (It says Philippians 4:6 and I got it after a rough period in my life so it has great significance to me).
He opened the Bible and for THREE hours read me verses about tattooing ones skin and prayed for my great sin. Over and over again.
What was I supposed to do about the PERMANENT tattoo located on my wrist? COVER it of course, at all times. In scorching heat. He didn't want the kids to see it and think it was OK.
After 6 months of being emotionally broken down day after day and feeling like the worst Christian in the world, I left Guatemala early and returned to the United States. Even though I knew of Christians who were good people and even still considered myself a Christian, I was so turned off by anything associated with it after that experience. I left broken, disheartened, and empty.
And I wanted nothing to do with the Church.
But today, three years later, I realized I miss it.
I miss going to Church, the worship music, and the atmosphere. The community.
Today was the start of something good, I felt it.
"…just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life." Romans 6:4
Newness of life.
One step at a time.