Sunday 2 August 2009

An update on a place called church

A chronicler of the times

Sometimes, it appears life rolls along in front of you like a film, memories morph into the reality of today; such is the lot of the chronicler.

Inadvertently, I find that I am not a participant in many things but I talk about these many things like someone called to record those events lest they be lost to posterity under the impression of them being irrelevant or mundane.

Waking up this morning, I decided to catch up with a past that would be so differently represented in the present. I went to church and did I need an update on what happens in that place.

The brain serves a function

Of recent, I had become anti-religious, a debunker of bizarre beliefs which the adherents purport to be part of some faith they had acquired somewhere. What riled me most was the suspension of intellect that accompanies deep religious attachment on the part of some – our brains are there for a reason and especially when it comes to matters spiritual it needs to be at its most efficient to ensure one does not absorb error like a sponge.

That means one needs to reconcile that has been heard and preached with proper study of the texts to ensure that they correlate, being religious is something for the scholar not the dullard.

Above all, my view is religion is to serve humanity and anywhere humanity is sacrificed to creed, doctrine, tradition or custom; religion loses its significance on the premise that it was made for man and not man for religion.

The people that make church

Anyway, my visit was encapsulated in the humanity of meeting up with the man who some 7 years ago was courting, for whom we prayed that they receive favour for a house and they ended up with the choice of four and in whose wedding video I appear regaled in African garments dancing most probably as an embarrassing middle-aged dancer.

I thought I recognised him, a brain scan would have shown my cranial computer riffling at breakneck speed through the facial recognition database that needs a good indexing facility and finally, it all clicked but the name.

The chains of recognition began rebuilding themselves, to wife, to in-laws, to friends and to other relationships, then probing questions hoping the answers would not represent a challenging response.

I was doing well and then his wife came by, we exchanged profound pleasantries and by the time I knew it, I was about to say hello to their son who is almost five. Yes.

Finding some significance

As I spoke to the assistant pastor, I remembered I first attended that church some 8 years ago, it has always been a welcoming place from the people through the message and the atmosphere of continually connecting with each other, it is a family setting to which bachelors like me can be a very glaring sore thumb.

It could be rather difficult to find ones place, but I can see the changes, young men and ladies of yore now parents with responsibilities and children, people who had moved on or passed on, people who have returned after a sojourn somewhere else realising that this church offers more fulfilment in many ways than one can clearly tell about.

It is about people always

The pastor who had built this community has been in ministry for 18 years without break, he and his family are taking a sabbatical of renewal, as one should and they are in my prayers because they have been a very compassionate family to me, in many difficult times and other wonderful times.

I saw very few old faces but it was nice to know that one who I had thought might not have made it through a very serious illness years ago thrives just as I sadly remembered one of whom I was told on my last visit just about a year ago did not.

Above all, church is about people and God amongst his people, sometimes, one does need an update on proceedings at a place called church.

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