by Ruth DuCharme
published in Family Matters eNewsletter, 8/21/14
I am a homebody. I am one who prefers the comforts of home to the strangeness of an unfamiliar place. I like my bed, my shower, and my pillow. When I travel it takes me a few days to adjust to my new surrounds before I can relax and enjoy my time away.
On our recent vacation to St. Simons (a place that does feel very comfortable to me), Cass and I decided on Sunday morning to forgo the sleeping-in-late-of-vacation to find a place of worship. Attending church on vacation is not a typical practice for us; after all we do a lot of church attending during the other weeks of the year. However, on this particular Sunday we decided to visit the historical Christ Church on St. Simons. We had been there before to walk the grounds and visit the famous cemetery, but we had never been there for worship.
As we entered that beautiful, historic sanctuary, we knew we were on unfamiliar ground – two Baptist ministers trying not to look out of place in this Episcopal setting. Cass and I were warmly greeted and then found our way to a pew. We opened our order of worship, got our hymnals ready, and pulled out our kneeling bench. We wanted to be prepared. We didn’t want to look like novices or stick out as the Baptists in the crowd. We knew that we weren’t on our home turf.
The organ began to play, the congregation stood for the procession, and we began to sing O Worship the King. Hey, I know that hymn! The minister gave a warm welcome and greeted those of us who were vacation-worshipers. The scriptures began to flow. Holy words of community and grace were spoken. There were familiar phrases – “The Lord be with you…and also with you.” Things were becoming comfortable, and I began to relax. I was feeling at home. No, it wasn’t Highland Hills Baptist Church, but it was God’s house.
I realized through my experience at Christ Church that this Baptist girl isn’t so much Baptist as she is a child of God. My home is where God abides, and where the people of God worship with reverence and sincerity. I gave thanks for the fact that I could feel and experience God in a new way and in a new place.
This homebody likes to abide in God’s house. I find joy in gathering for worship with you each Sunday. I love seeing you in your familiar spots and sharing with you in the acts and words of worship. God is calling us to gather. I hope to see you there on Sunday.