Baptism and Church Service

Today we attended the baptisms of the children of our good friends.  It was nice but I left feeling a bit incomplete.

As I was driving to the place where the ceremony and service were to be held I had a feeling that DH would find a reason to duck out early.  After studying the Bible in multiple languages and world history during the time of the Bible, he’s got some pretty strong viewpoints on God, Jesus, and the way people should worship.  Add to that his discomfort in groups (which was exacerbated by the pastor’s very public welcome) and you’ve got someone who would prefer to avoid attending religious services.

I wasn’t disappointed.  We arrived early to meet with B and V and congratulate them and their children.  We met the pastor, members of the congregation, and people like us that were there for the baptisms.  Everyone was very friendly.  We were met with hugs and smiles.  It seemed as though everyone knew who we were and congratulated us on our wedding.  They saw me limping from my tendinitis and helped me to a chair.  It was a really nice group of people.

There was lots of singing, a blessing, then the baptisms.  B and V’s oldest child cried – he equated the baptism with getting dirty and he really didn’t like that.  Their youngest looked more shocked than anything.  There was a small break so that the children could go to kids’ church and the adults could grab some coffee before they went into adult church.  DH pressured me to leave even though I really wanted to stay.  I finally relented.  I didn’t want to force him to do something he didn’t want to do.  I cold tell the other parishioners were disappointed to see us go.

On the way home, DH asked me why I wanted to stay.  I couldn’t put it into adequate words.  I said that I’d been to very few church services, and most of those were Catholic Christmas services.  I was interested to know more about the way people worship, and what their pastor had to say.  I could tell that wasn’t “good enough”.  He explained why he didn’t agree with organized services and suggested I start by reading the Bible.

Later, I think I realized what I’m really seeking with my desire to attend services.  If I was only curious about religion and seeking religious fulfillment, I would focus on reading and analyzing the Bible.  But there’s more to organized religion than that.  I miss that sense of community that I had growing up in my neighborhood.  I miss that common belief structure and the knowledge that I could count on my neighbors to help no matter what.

I know that all congregations aren’t created equal.  I know that within your congregation you find people you “click” with and those you just can’t stand.  But I also know that beliefs help build communities.  I think that’s something that I need right now – a sense of belonging.

I don’t think DH will ever truly understand that.  He’s too much of a loner, and that’s not enough for me right now.

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3 Comments

  1. Very detailed info. I am very happy to I found this entry.. 🙂

  2. Hi, very interesting post, greetings from Greece!

  3. how are you?

    Looking forward to your next post


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