With our journey of visiting fifty-two churches over, I can reflect more on the complete experience. Today, I’ll add to my thoughts about Church #28.
Steeped in ritual resulting from centuries of carefully protected tradition, the spiritual mystery of this tiny liturgical church presented me with an enigma I’m yet to fully comprehend. With worship that both confronted and comforted me, I have much to contemplate as I wrestle with confusion over its practices that are so foreign to me.
I remind myself: Different isn’t a bad thing; it’s actually good if the result draws me closer to God. This church did that for me. They left me in awe of who he is and amazed at the diverse ways we can worship him.
My admiration, however, doesn’t end with the official service. Though it only lasted an hour, the informal gathering afterward continued for another ninety minutes, as we immersed ourselves into community. I learn much about the people and this church, enjoying our conversation and all they have to share. These are good folks, fellow pilgrims who enjoy being with each other. I know that I must return for another visit.
My plan was to never tell people at the churches we visit that we might come back. And for fifty-one churches, I never did. However, I do tell them I’ll be back – just that it won’t be for quite a while. We have twenty-four other churches to visit first.