Sometimes going to church is plain old hard work, and to be honest, I sometimes wish I didn't have to go.
Now, before you raise your eye brow,let me explain.
Firstly hubby doesn't go to church. So, taking two little kids who are full of energy by myself isn't easy.
I go to church, not because I have to go, I go because I want to go. Still, it doesn't make it any easier.
Then the crèche only opens after the singing has ended. So, having Adam (2)in the service until then is difficult. The kids like to sing and dance, and often their very voices get louder and louder as the want to show me this, and tell me that!
So today, as Adam was blowing spit bubbles at everyone, I decided that one song was enough and headed to the crèche, where I sat playing toy cars with him for the next half an hour! This is when I start thinking,just remind me why am I here?
So, moving between the creche, the toilets, the back of the church and the front,(yes,the madness is that I enjoy sitting at the front), means that I am seldom focused on the worship, or get to hear the full sermon or the announcements.
I finally sat down to hear the sermon, (not sure how much I had missed), and was immediately absorbed in what Pete, the guest speaker was saying.
Jesus came to set us free. Yes, we all know that, but how often do we turn those who are about to come to Christ to be "set free" or who just have, away, because of our religiosity? Oh sorry, you are not welcome here, because of your lifestyle. You are gay! You have just had an affair with someone I know. I know that you are an unscrupulous businessman. What do you think you are doing here, you hypocrite? And so on and so forth.
I realised that I had become my worst enemy and was judging myself because of who I am, and who I thought I sometimes should be. I recently invited a few friends to a ladies breakfast. Afterwards I kept thinking, I was such a hypocrite, as the night before, we were having a few drinks together and now I sit at a ladies church lunch singing about Jesus.
It was such freedom to be set free the enemies lies. I had fallen, one again, into that religious trap. I am who I am. I am a very real person, and I don't have to be "super-saved", to be accepted by Christ. I am not of this world, but I do live in it, and I need to realise that.
God loves me JUST the way I am. A very real person, who's aim is to be increasingly conformed to the image of Christ, and not to the image of who I think I should be, (or to others in the church, or anywhere else). There is no freedom in law only in Christ.