This weekend we were honored to join with family members at the Baptism of their son. He carries on his father’s name and his eyes reflect joy just like his mother’s. Words are truly inadequate to describe the fullness of my heart in being close enough to join our family on such a blessed occasion.
The program was lengthy compared to those of my childhood churches and the robes vastly different from the three piece suit worn by the man who baptized me. Those things fell aside as I smiled at the beauty of three generations sharing an expression of faith together in a little Lutheran church.
I have no illusions that there are fundamental differences among religions. Not every person calling herself Christian lives by the same set of essential truths as I. What I’m overwhelmed with is the thought of needless judgement and pain we cause – that I have participated in – in focusing on the minute differences between our practices.
This military life has grown my faith. God started to open my eyes at a little church in Europe, even through the pain I experienced, He showed me how I cause the same hurt. When we moved to parts of the country without churches in our childhood denomination, He continued to show me that church is not a building.
Coming home has been about more than living near those who share bloodlines, it’s about recognizing the importance of worship with my family of faith.
How has your definition of church changed since you were a child?