[Papercut Press Publishing] 1998-05-05 - Where is the Hymnal?

Todays verse: Psalm 55:14, We who had sweet fellowship together...

For four months now I have been experimenting. I have been looking for a new church. This has not been the joy of my life that I thought it might have been when I began my journey. Being a very conservative Presbyterian I already know that I will never find a church where I feel at home. I had no idea how much of an alien I really was. Seven churches later I am still looking, still unhappy; still growing in my faith, trust and dependence upon God. I really wish some of these churches would 'do things my way', but, as things often happen, who is being changed? Me and my attitude.

This past Sunday was rather unique. I attended a church, in my denomination, that does it all wrong. And as a Presbyterian, I was not disappointed, they did it all wrong. God was there anyway. Of the seven I have attended, I felt most at home here. I was with the people of God, we worshipped God, and I am glad I went.

Many of the churches I have been attending do it right. They have traditional, proper worship and I am the first one to appreciate it and recognize it. These same churches often have little to no body life, and can't spell the word fellowship. And while the doctrine of the omnipresence of God still applies in these churches, the presence of God in worship is often contrived or sadly altogether missing. The formalities of the service appear to choke the freedom of the spirit.

The few friends that I have told where I went have suggested that I should have asked them to sit down before I gave them such news. When I have gone further and announced that I liked it, they have basically hit the floor. But the experience at this church has taught me something about communion with God and the fellowship of the saints as they commune with God.

  1. Communion with God and with the saints of God is no small privilege. It is, in fact, a visible covenant. When we are with the people of God, there we know God and learn about God. It is here where we commune with Him in a way that can not be experienced when alone in our closets or devotional times. 'One thing I have desired of the Lord, this I will seek, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life and behold the glory of the Lord.' Psalm 27:4

  2. We must have a stake and interest in the local church. We must have a nail in the holy place. The honors of being a member of the church of Jesus Christ should give us more joy than all the honors the world can, does, or could grant us. A child of God will prefer and desire spiritual blessings above all else. Chief among these blessings here on God's earth are those that relate to communion with our Lord and His fellow children.

'As it is the glory of the church of Christ, that in all her members, however dispersed, she is thus one, one holy society, one city, one family, one body; so it is very desirable, that this union should be manifested, and become visible.' Jonathan Edwards

Soli Deo Gloria,