Pastor Larry Sundin
I remember, as a boy, the first time going to church. My neighbors had invited me to come with them. It was a unique experience in many ways. The first thing I noticed was how everyone was dressed to the nines. Soon there was music that was quite unfamiliar to my ears. But everyone seemed to know the songs, so I tried my best to sing along. Then we did something I’d never done before. We all knelt down on these benches that were attached to the pews in front of us. We were going to pray. I had never prayed before. So, when everyone was bowed, and the man in the white robe led us in prayer, I was curious—so I opened my eyes and looked around. And it seemed like everyone else was really into praying. But for me it all felt a little surreal. The only other thing I remember about my first time going to church was when the man in the white robe began talking to us about Jesus and the coming day of judgment. I didn’t know why he was talking to us about Jesus, but I do remember feeling some fear about a coming judgment day.
Nowadays, being part of a local church that worships and serves together makes sense to me. It started making sense to me shortly after I came to know Jesus as my Savior in my mid-20s. It was then that I began to understand that the church is not some man-made institution where you learn to practice a religion. Nor is the church a place to go on Sundays where you walk through a bunch of rituals to help you grow closer to God. No, the church is God’s creation. It’s His household. It’s His dwelling place. And since it is His dwelling place, “going to church” takes on a whole new meaning. It means you get to gather with fellow brothers and sisters who have been adopted into God’s family. It means that you get to encounter the God of the Universe who promises to dwell in our midst. And it means you get to worship the One who not only loves His church but cherishes it and nourishes it with His goodness and grace.
Perhaps you’ve never fully understood the wonder and beauty of the church from God’s perspective. Perhaps you’ve always thought the church was a place with religious programs and meaningful initiatives, but you never realized that God wants His church to be so much more—that God wants His church to be a community where you can fit in and find a place to belong. That God wants His church to be a family where He can nourish your faith and cherish your uniqueness. And that God wants His church to be a gathering where you can rest in His grace, grow in His truth, and encounter His love. At Rock Springs Church it is our hope that we can be a church like that. Perhaps you have the same hope. And if that’s you, then why not join us Oct. 16, for our Back To Church Sunday, as we look at “the bride of Christ” and see how precious she is to God! We gather every Sunday at 9 a.m. in the Ballroom. We hope you’ll gather with us to worship the God who loves us.