By George Kimando
Are you a Christian or do you simply go to Church?
Christian here could represent any faithful to any denomination (Muslim, Buddhist, traditionalist, etc), and Church any venue for collective worship (Mosque, Synagogues, Shrine, etc).
By the way, many of the reflections i share in this column emanate from a lot of personal experiences, even when it’s from observation or sharing by others.
Indeed, i often struggle to live on the right side of what i share here, perhaps the only advantage being the personal conviction of self chaperoning.
I put this disclaimer because of a mail i got a couple of weeks ago that expressed appreciation of the Sunday Missives, but with a clincher: your life must be the very the epitome of perfection. Huh!
So when i write about Church goers and Christians, it’s also a personal challenge which calls for collective reflection at an individual level, the role of the self in collective faith in action. Like Paul, it’s a call to endeavour to perfection amidst incidences and episodes of imperfection. Right?
A research i once made reference to here a while back that was conducted by a local Church sponsored University revealed a number of interesting reasons why people go to Church.
Many do so to meet friends, lovers or business associates.
Others appear to show off a certain fashion or acquisition: an outfit (hello women!), a car, etc, while others attend as a matter of obligation because they were so taught in their catechism.
To some, it’s to meet that person in high office whom they wouldn’t otherwise meet in official circles, while for others it’s to put up a certain image for the benefit of their personal agenda and status.
Fundamentally then, the report says, many had/have turned the Church and days of collective worship into social clubs for habitual outings and advancing personal agendas.
One profound lesson shared by many as a testimony after the covid experience is that God does not reside in the buildings we call Churches. That if we don’t find Him from within us, it makes no difference attending Mass or Church service, fasting calls, keshas, retreats and shrine visits to all renowned hallowed sites in the world.
Now that covid has largely receded from the world, do we still have these lessons with us or we have moved on to the next big thing, like elections, the world cup, upcoming Christmas?
Have we forgotten our vulnerability and limitations, and how we solely need God in our lives?
Have we forgotten our helplessness and powerlessness in the face of natural calamities, and gone back to our lording it over others, playing gods and providers to them, as if they won’t be alive without us?
When we attend communal worship in Churches, what value does it add to me as an individual and my fellow faithfuls? Do i feed hope to brethren in despair and nourish a soul that was spiritually collapsing in hunger?
Do i go to Church with a heart full of jealousy, envy, ill will, bitterness, vengeful thoughts, unforgiveness, a peddler of gossip, pride, prejudice and all those vices, and still come out with them?
Do you attend Church to increase value of collective worship or simply as ‘goer’, a statistic to boost the numbers of ‘our Church’?
Do i meet my Christian call to be Christ like or did i just go to Church?
Are you a Christian or simply a Church goer?
Have a reflective Sunday, and a great week ahead.