The United Reformed Church Chesham
April/May 2010 Newsletter
Why do we go to church?
Many years ago a man said to me "You go to church on Sundays. I like to play golf." This was as if the activities were both spare time hobbies or interests and since each of us spent most of our working lives indoors (although he did not say so) he probably though that the way he spent his “day of rest” was the healthier option.
So, why do we go to church? I would suggest that some of the reasons are:- to seek God’s presence (although He is with us all the time and everywhere); to thank Him for His faithfulness and goodness, to ask for forgiveness for our many mistakes; to worship Him and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit in prayer, Bible passages, particularly the teaching of Jesus, in the sermon and music, to try to discern His will for us. At this time of year with Good Friday and Easter Sunday only a few days away our thoughts are specially concentrated on the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross and His miraculous Resurrection, which are the central and unique historical facts of Christianity.
Over the years Betty & I have been privileged to host, and often lead, a house group, and we have found tremendous benefit in these meetings. It is always good to hear other people’s views, and to have the opportunity of sharing questions and doubts. We are so glad that groups also meet in the evening under Bridget’s leadership, and that in Lent people from the churches of Chesham meet together to hear special talks, and in the two following years to discuss a common theme.
We would always encourage anyone to go to a group. Among friends it is not a daunting experience, and it is good to find that others have the same problems that you do. Leading a group is much simpler these days too, because there is such a range of material from Bible commentaries to CDs and audio tapes to make life easier.
And what about "fellowship", that most over-worked word in church circles, although I do not know of another that expresses the welcome and friendship that should flourish in every church. We have always felt this in Chesham URC from the day of our first visit. Of course, there is the danger that mixing mainly with Christian friends we rarely take the opportunity of sharing the Gospel. I would be among the first to admit that I find this very difficult, but I hope that at least sometimes people look beyond us to see the driving force in our lives.
I have been greatly blessed in having been able to visit churches of all the major denominations in England, as well as some in Wales, Northern Ireland, Spain and India, and also in attending many conferences arranged by GEAR – the Group for Evangelism and Renewal within the URC. I am also delighted that I feel at home in the churches of Chesham, and I feel it is so important that these should continue to work together in Lent, at Easter time, at Backpackers and Rendezvous, etc.
I hope that I have to some extent answered the question posed in the heading. I know that many reading this will feel the same, and I pray that the Christian Church will continue to play an outstanding part in our country and the world.
Wishing you all the blessings of Easter,