Our youth pastor preached the other Sunday. On the Day of Epiphany. The day the church traditionally pays homage to the wise men from the east who followed a star to visit the Christ child. The conclusion of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Which follows the season of Advent.
I think I got that right. I honestly don’t know because I never learned about all the “Days” we find on the church calendar.
I grew up Southern Baptist. At Christmas time, we paid homage to Lottie Moon. Also a great follower of the Christ child.
Anyway, during our youth pastor’s sermon, he expressed that at times he wishes he was Jewish. I think he intended it to be funny. I know him. He also kind of, sort of, meant it. I nodded enthusiastically in agreement. I feel the same way. And depending on what books I’m reading, I also sort of wish I was Anglican. Episcopalian. Charismatic. Catholic.
I’ll never say a negative word against my Southern Baptist roots. Or any denomination who preaches God’s Word, Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. I believe God Loves the Various Churches of the World.
Baptist, Methodist, Church of Christ... They are precious in His sight. That sort of thing.
What I am working through these days goes deeper.
Sometimes in my relationship with Jesus, things get noisy. I write on here about tracing God at work in our daily lives. I teach Bible Study. I read and conduct a Facebook group discussion as we go through the Bible chronologically in a year. I lead our church in a time of reflection and public prayer on Sundays. I prayerfully seek opportunities to minister all week long.
But there are moments in my day. Seasons in my life. When I just want to sit at the feet of Jesus.
In an effort to meet this need, I’ve explored traditional practices the church has used for centuries. In doing so, I’ve found I’m not alone. Several bloggers and book writers seek the same thing. Here are a few of my favorites:
Where can I find Him when my heart is tired? I’m not burned-out. Just... Lord Jesus, grant me a closer walk with Thee.
I thank God that the foundation for my faith has its roots deep, deep in the Southern Baptist tradition and its Bible study, hymns, prayers and community. These days, I seek more of Him now by studying Scripture hermeneutically. In the written prayers of the saints. The stories of those who gave us timeless hymns. Daily as I learn about the church calendar.
And a new one for me. I’m feeling a desire to find Him during the week in the sanctuary that is the church. Many churches open their doors daily for the community to enter in for a time of prayer.
Actually, I take back the first sentence of the above paragraph. This practice isn’t a new one for me. Growing up, I lived down the road from a Methodist church in the country. Who never locked their doors. I used to play church there. While other little girls played house. Although I did my share of that too. I can recall a few times I needed to pray in that church. When my uncle died in a tragic car accident. After we lost my granddad to that terrible disease, Alzheimer’s. When a boy broke my heart. I would walk to that church. Open its double wooden doors and make my way to the altar. God and I would talk in the quiet.
My mom told me her church has started offering a public prayer time every Monday night. No business meeting. No teaching. Just an open door for those in need of prayer.
That resonates with me on a very deep level.
So, I’m going to find the courage to lace up my protestant shoes. Some weekday soon I’m going to head down the road (again) but this time to the Catholic Church in town. I will enter its doors. You better believe I’m going to dip my hands in some holy water. I’ll kneel down. Cross myself. And pray. I won’t do it just like the Catholics do. I don’t know how.
But millions of believers before me have prayed in churches all over the world. Any given day of the week. A sacred time of conversation between Father and child.
I have no doubt He will meet me there.
Then, come Sunday morning, I’ll gather with my Reformed church family for worship. We’ll have the music up loud and jam out to the latest praise and worship songs. Our wonderfully gifted pastor will teach us straight from God’s Word. I’ll wait patiently for the third Sunday, when we take Communion. It will be good.
I’m not looking for something new. I’m just looking for something more.