RELIGION: Going to Church

Going to church on Sundays seems to be far less common in our society with every passing year.  We live in a very busy world, with many things clamoring for our attention throughout the week and on weekends.  For many people, Sundays are days to catch up on their rest by sleeping in.  For others, Sundays are days to get out and do the things they couldn’t do during the busy work week.  Why waste an hour or more of time in church on Sunday mornings?

But perhaps there is something that can take place at church on Sunday mornings that would make that investment of time well worth one’s while.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s wonderful trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, tells the story of the harrowing journey of Frodo Baggins and his friends on their way to Mount Doom to destroy a magic ring and to save the world.  In the first book, after a particularly dangerous portion of their journey, they arrive at the home of Elrond in the Elven city of Rivendell.  The travelers are exhausted from what they have been through and fearful of what lies ahead.  But they rest for a while in Rivendell.  Tolkien offers this description:

“For awhile the hobbits continued to talk and think of the past journey and of the perils that lay ahead; but such was the virtue of the land of Rivendell that soon all fear and anxiety was lifted from their minds.  The future, good or ill, was not forgotten, but ceased to have power over the present.  Health and hope grew strong in them, and they were content with each day as it came, taking pleasure in every meal, and in every word and song.”

Tolkien presents Rivendell as a place where “fear and anxiety was lifted from their minds,” where “the future, good or ill, was not forgotten, but ceased to have power over the present,” and where “health and hope grew strong in them.”  That’s what church offers to people who are coming out of a stressful week and may be moving on to another stress-filled week.  Worshiping God can be a time where “fear and anxiety” are lifted from your mind, where the future, “good or ill” won’t be forgotten but will cease “to have power of the present,” and where “health and hope” can grow strong in you.

Chuck Swindoll points out, “What comes from the Lord because it is impossible for humans to manufacture it?  Wisdom.  What comes from humans because it is impossible for the Lord to experience it?  Worry.  And what is it that brings wisdom and dispels worry?  Worship.”

Yes, going to church takes time out of a person’s weekend, but you may find that it brings more to you than it takes away.  You may find that it will fill you with peace and rest and health and hope and wisdom that you would be lacking apart from worshiping God.  Give it a try.

Tom Tripp is the Pastor at the First Presbyterian Church of Colusa. Pastor Tripp can be reached by e-mail at: tomtripp@frontiernet.net

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Tom Tripp is the Pastor at the First Presbyterian Church of Colusa. Pastor Tripp can be reached by e-mail at: tomtripp@frontiernet.net