Monday, December 18, 2006

Grist for the mill

I am still a member of the Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship email list. Admittedly, I'm mostly a lurker these days, but I stay on because I have met many of these people in person and am interested in their faith journeys.

Last week, there was a discussion about prayer and worship in UU churches... and how those things tend to be de-emphasized, or renamed, so that people who have been wounded by their past religious experiences will have a safe haven.

As I read the discussion, I found myself getting upset about the whole idea of tossing out prayer and worship because it might make someone uncomfortable. I believe a religious life is meant to challenge and make us uncomfortable. That is part of what stretches us. Religion is not a club. It isn't just about coffee hour and social outreach. It is a process of transformation (or even sanctification). How can transformation happen when there is no challenge to your current status quo?

The fact is, no church can be everything to everyone. But I honestly believe that spiritual growth requires personal growth. We must be stretched... sometimes far beyond what we think we can handle... in order to grow closer to God. I also believe that God must be at the center of any church in order for it to flourish. When God goes missing, the church is in deep trouble. Nothing man made can hold it together.


Swandive said...

Amen sister. So glad to have found you. Blessings dear one.

Nancy said...

You are so right Rachel. It is when we are "stretched" that we grow closer to God and change. It's a constant process. Without challenge we stagnate. I think that God provides all of us with plenty of challenges and opportunities for growth, but it is our choice whether or not to accept them, or even to recognize them for that matter.

Rachel's Big Dunk said...

Welcome to the 'Dunk, Swandive! I have been reading at your place this week! (Check her out, you guys. She's on my blogroll.)

Nancy, God has a limitless capacity to push us beyond our perceived limits. I love that about Him! What is amazing is that if we are willing to be pushed, He never leaves us to our own devices, but walks the path with us.

Antony said...

Amen Rachel, Amen.