Why We Go To Church

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A couple Sundays ago, we sang the hymn, God is here! As we your people from page 461 in the Presbyterian Hymnal. It was new to me, and the lyrics made me cock my head in wonder. I was amazed at how the words capture the holiness of church, and what I get out of going. Or rather, what I miss when we don't go. No matter how diligent I am about my personal quiet time, no matter how frequently we talk about God in our home or try to appreciate the wonders of nature,


(like this shot I just re-discovered from July)

there is still something special about going into church and worshiping God there. There is learning in that group, there are symbols, there are generational traditions, and there is a sense of shared purpose. This hymn describes all that, beautifully. I hope you enjoy it.

God is here! As we your people

God is here! As we Your people
Meet to offer praise and prayer,
May we find in fuller measure
What it is in Christ we share.
Here, as in the world around us,
All our varied skills and arts
Wait the coming of the Spirit
Into open minds and hearts.

Here are symbols to remind us
Of our lifelong need of grace;
Here are table, font, and pulpit;
Here the cross has central place.
Here in honesty of preaching,
Here in silence, as in speech,
Here, in newness and renewal,
God the Spirit comes to each.

Here our children find a welcome
In the Shepherd's flock and fold,
Here as bread and wine are taken,
Christ sustains us as of old.
Here the servants of the Servant
Seek in worship to explore
What it means in daily living
To believe and to adore.

Lord of all, of church and kingdom,
In an age of change of doubt
Keep us faithful to the gospel,
Help us work Your purpose out.
Here, in this day's dedication,
All we have to give, receive;
We, who cannot live without You,
We adore you! We believe!

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6 Comments »

6 Responses to “Why We Go To Church”

  1. Hi there! Thanks for commenting on Emily's piece over at my place. It was good to see some new faces. I'd love to see you back there again!

    This hymn is beautiful. It's how I wish church could always be. My wife and I recently made the tough decision to leave our church home of ten years and search for a new one, and it hasn't been easy. So often church seems to be about everything BUT the things in those stanzas. But we're still searching, still optimistically visiting new congregations, hoping to find a home. We even visited a Presbyterian church a few weeks ago! It wasn't quite what we were looking for, but it was a warm and sincere group for sure. I hope yours it truly home for you in every sense of the word. Peace to you.

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  2. Beautiful words, Courtney!  It never amazes me -- those days when I think I'm craving laying in my bed or a day without the schedule of church, what I'm really craving is more of God.  And what a place to find Him in the community of others.

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  3. Courtney,
    You are right. There is something special about worshipping God at church. I love hymns, and this is one I don't know, but I do know the words are packed with big meaning. Yes, we believe and we adore.

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  4. I love that hymn.  Here our children find a welcome In the Shepherd's flock and fold,Here as bread and wine are taken, Christ sustains us as of old.
    I am welcome and he covers me with his cloak and sustains me until we are old. 

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  5. That hymn totally nails it, doesn't it? And you are so right. I absolutely miss my church home when we are away on vacation or can't attend for some reason. It grounds me in a way that nothing else does during the week.

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  6. *sigh*
    I do love hymns. They're works of art. 
    And when we gather together to sing them as a gift to God, it is a beautiful thing.

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