Last Sunday, as we gathered around the campfire with the church, we talked about several topics. At one point, we sang the hymn “Come Thou Fount”, which includes the following words:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
Singing this hymn led to a great discussion of sin, acceptance, and judgementalism.
It began with someone talking about sin – how we all sin and how we all wander from God. We talked about how Scripture, the Holy Spirit, and other believers help us when we wander away from God.
From there, we talked about the community aspect. If we understand that we all wander away from God from time to time and that we all sin, then the community of faith should be a safe place to confess our sin and to ask for help.
Now, at this point in the discussion, I realized how glad I am that I’m part of a community in which the people discuss the hard issues. Someone brought up that the reason she doesn’t talk about her sin is because she’s afraid of being judged. Someone else said that he always feels that other people are more spiritual than him. Someone else said that she realizes that she often doesn’t know people as well as she should, and so she doesn’t open up to them.
All of these issues are problems in the church – in every church, including our church. But, in most churches, these issues are not discussed. Now, we have a platform and a reason to begin addressing issues such as these. We can start asking one another why someone would be afraid of being judged. We could ask why some may be acting as if they are more spiritual than others. We can ask why we don’t know each other as well as we should, and what we can do to get to know one another better.
All of this started with a simple hymn… one that we’ve sung many times. But, because people had the freedom to talk with one another and to discuss this issue, we as a church are better off – we were helped – we are more healthy and more mature as a group. When the church matures together, we are then able to help one another as each of us is prone to wander…