Oops! It suddenly occurred to me today that this entry could be interpreted as referring to my home congregation, or any of the other specific congregatations that I attend on a frequent or infrequent basis.
It's not. I love my home congregation, despite my critique that it is too loud. In many ways, it is kind of strange that I have such an affinity for the place.
It is nothing short of gigantic, and in many ways is the low-church, generic American Evangelicalism that I just don't resonate with. Not really the place for the high-church, Evangelical Catholic introvert that is me.
But the thing is, Jesus is there. And when I first moved to town and started looking for a church, there was just something that continued to draw me back. Of course, I was always at the early morning "traditional" service, and rarely made it past the chapel. But God really worked on my heart and my attitude while I was there, and I found myself getting acclimated eventually - making friends, becoming more comfortable with (or at least less judgmental of) the general atmosphere there, and finally becoming involved in some really cool things.
Like I said, Jesus is there. He is present in the leadership, and in the thousands of members who worship there each week. He is present in the vision and the mission and the values. He is present in the transformed lives and the built and rebuilt relationships. He is present in the bread and the wine, the water and the word.
The Holy Spirit is hard at work in my home congregation, and I absolutely love it. I myself had somewhat of a "conversion experience" there, and it was where I really learned to be excited about my faith - where it moved from my head to my heart.
Is it everything I would do, if I ran the zoo? Hmm...maybe - probably - not. But praise God for his graciousness, and his love, and the incredible things he's doing at, in, and through my church!