American humorist Garrison Keillor quipped, “Anyone who thinks sitting in church can make you a Christian must also think that sitting in a garage can make you a car.”
True, yet attending church is so much more than being a “pew potato” instead of a “couch potato.” Last year’s Annual Meeting of The Mother Church made this clear to me. It was also the reopening of The Mother Church Extension, with a major renovation nearly complete. Fresh paint on the ceiling, updated restrooms, upgrades to the organ, and an elevator from the garage up into the Church on the way. But for those attending, the experience was a lot more than sitting in nice pews, enjoying renewed amenities. It was about the Christ-spirit we all felt together.
One of the Directors of The Mother Church likened church attendance to the joy of attending a wedding and wearing a “wedding garment.” Collective joy, expectancy of good, receptivity, loving support of each other—that’s what “wedding garments” said to me. The message: “Be as present as you can.”