Day 333 of the Calendar Year

Church time! No, last week I learned that this is not the same as prayer time. Some of us associate church with praying, but you do not have to go to church to pray. At the service I attended last week at Bishop Watson’s church, the minister(standing in for Bishop Watson) emphasized the importance of coming to church on Sunday as a means of bonding with other like-minded people. It is not only a time to think about your soul but also a time for socializing and gathering with others. It is a time for sharing. The minister emphasized that “watching church on TV is not enough.” She said you have to go to church. She stressed how important the communal nature of the gathering was. I had never thought about church like this before. When I grew up, I hated going to church. I saw it as one hour of listening to sermons and lectures which had little or no meaning to me. I came to church, listened and then went home. There was little or no fellowship or interaction with the other church-goers.

Many believers feel that God resides in temples, churches, synagogues, mosques and other house of prayers. Other believers would say that god resides wherever you are. I have often wondered why you need to go to church to commune with god. However, if we all need fellowship and bonding with similar worshippers, then this puts another spin on the matter. Perhaps, we all need to worship together for the communal spirit that comes from congregating at our various places of worship.

I think it is interesting that we have different names for these places of worship depending on our religious orientation. We have temples, churches, synagogues and mosques. But the spirit of coming together and the reasons we do so, are similar. As human beings we all want to believe in something greater than ourselves. We seek out diverse groups or associations of like-minded individuals. We want to feel part of something larger than ourselves and we join clubs, associations, civic groups, volunteer groups and religious groups to fulfill these needs. We fulfill different needs with different groups. Some of these affiliations fill social, physical and economic needs but our spiritual needs are no less important.

How do you fulfill your spiritual needs? How do you share fellowship around these needs? How do you reach out to other people spiritually? Are you satisfied with your spiritual life and the blessings it brings you? What would it take to improve your spiritual life?

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