My church meets in a school auditorium on Sunday mornings. We are a small group, sometimes 25, sometimes 50, occasionally more. The warmth and hugs that you come away with cannot be beaten. Grace is taught here, in a big way.
I was in a traditional church this week, to attend my two nieces Confirmation. I was sitting in a pew of the oldest church in Barbados alongside family members and it was a good feeling.
In my very young days I remember going to the school chapel and thinking of how old it was. Some of the kneeling benches were broken and it had a musty, ‘churchy’ smell, not a bad smell, an expected scent that came with the territory. I would spend a lot of time staring at the cross, it was very large, Jesus was nailed to it. I would stare into his face and try to imagine how he must have felt, finding it hard to fathom that this massive sacrifice was for me, and mankind.
The standing and sitting. singing, reading, reciting, always kept me from day dreaming for long. I always felt secure in church, never self-conscious, except walking up for communion, imagining all eyes were on me. I loved the stained glass windows and the thick, sometimes crumbling stone walls, the high rafter ceilings, the organ music, the plaques, the marble engraved tombs. The churches I attended during my school time in the UK were grander and larger, although still Anglican. I attended confirmation classes for a few months before getting confirmed at one of the nearby churches at aged 14. Today, the preparation time for confirmation is up to a year or more. My young nieces were confirmed alongside other young, middle aged and elderly people. I was honoured to be a part of it.
I enjoy the occasional return to traditional. Yet I find myself still yearning for my familiar and authentic place, the church without the fancy windows and organ music, in fact sometimes the music doesn’t work at all, but I am known and loved and accepted, I know and feel Jesus there. That makes me happy.
Day 24 of the series Prison Break of Thoughts – 31 Days of Inner Release