But why do we have church?

A student came up to me last week and asked, "Why do we have church (meaning the regular Sunday worship)? Why can't we just have youth group and Bible study?

I explained it was because we needed to hear the Gospel and have Communion.

"But why can't we just do that in youth group?" he wanted to know.

I told him it was because we needed a priest to do Communion, and that we needed to hear the sermon.

"But why couldn't the priest just come to the youth group?"

I didn't have a good answer for him that day. But it made me think.

Well, J, the reason we have church is because we need the chance to worship with the whole community. By which I mean this:

If we had the Gospel and Communion in the youth group, we would end up having those things with people who were just like us: young, growing in faith, and without a lot of experience at anything. We would invite Jesus into our little circle and enjoy our time with Him all by ourselves.

We have church because we need to worship with people who are old. People who have a lot of stories to tell with their lives. People who are just beginning to wonder about God. People who are wrestling with Him. People who are different-- in their ages, in their faith development, in their involvement with the church-- from us.

Church is so we can talk to God together.
Church is so we can see the people we pray for.
Church is so we don't ever think we are the only ones who know God, because we're comfortable in our own little way of doing things.

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