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 #47.
The people at this church are considerate of visitors. Their embrace of us, in a casual, open way, encourages me. This, however, belies the structured, more reserved format of their worship. They are informal with people and formal with God; they are open to others before and after the service but stoic towards the Almighty during their church meeting. The two stand in contrast. It’s as if they flick off their friendly switch for the service.
To me, it’s inconsistent to act one way with people before and after a church service and treat God differently during it. This troubles me; it feels hypocritical, but I think it is my issue. Having an open embrace of people and of God feels right to me. I want to treat God as I do my friends. It seems honest and is how I best show respect towards God.
However, other people may demonstrate respect for God by embracing him with reverence and in awe. If this is honest for them, then they should do it; my method would be the wrong one.
We can approach God casually, as a friend, and we can approach him reverently, as an all-powerful deity. He deserves both.