Yesterday, at church, our vicar asked a number of questions during the sermon. And, unlike more traditional one-way sermons, we got to answer. One of the questions was, “why are you here?”.
I have been thinking about that question. And the answers that people gave. Sometimes, I think, we confuse the “sign” with the “object that it is pointing to”. Or, in Thomas Merton’s language, “we look at the finger and miss the moon”. We argue about liturgy and hymns, about buildings. Yet in the end these are not what Christianity is about. Christianity is not a moral code that I must follow to be accepted by God. Experience shows me that there is an unbridgeable gap between God and me. Only in God’s action of love can that gap be bridged. So only in God’s action towards me can I have a relationship with Him.
So, why am I here (at church)? Because of Jesus. And only Jesus. I like the more traditional signs – liturgy, vestments, buildings – but only Jesus saves. Only in Jesus is life. Only in Jesus is hope. All the others have just signs to the reality that God has reached out to me in the man Jesus. I meet and experience Jesus in a particular way in the community that is gather in His name. He speaks to me and meets me personally. But in the end it is all about Him and Him alone.