My First Time at Church
by, 1 Week Ago at 06:08 AM (53 Views)
For those who don't know, I came to faith two years ago, after my mother fell ill and my life took a very dark turn. Through prayer and reading the scripture I realised that God was with me and that this was part of His plan. Sure enough, two years down the line, I live in Paris, got accepted to my dream university, my mum is better, and I have amazing new friends.
Yesterday was the first time I went to church since being saved. That distinction is pretty important; I went to a C.of.E Primary School, so most of my associations with church was cold and musty halls, dated hymns, and boring sermons presented by a pastor with a monotonous voice. However, I decided that church was a necessary way for me to relearn all of the things about my religion that I had forgotten since primary school, and I would have to deal with the boring parts.
I'm so glad I went.
The church in question is Protestant, and is located in a nondescript building rather than a grand old church or cathedral like in England. I went in and everyone was pretty much either American or English, which was lovely because after six months of consistent French, it was like a breath of fresh air. Everyone was bumbling around and I sat at the back alone, when a lovely young couple came over and sat with me. They asked me if I was new too, if I had lived in Paris long, whereabouts in England I was from. It made me feel so welcome already.
The service began with the choir. I associate choirs with robes and Latin, but this group were dressed casually and each of them were soul singers. The songs changed between loud and joyous, to soft and gentle. The two main singers - a young woman and a young man - performed beautiful solos that honestly had me on the verge of tears. People were lifting their arms up to the Heavens, they were clapping, swaying, singing along; as in Psalm 149:3, "Let them praise Him with dancing; praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe."
Then began the sermon. It was the story of the Adulterous Woman, as told in John 8:1-11. When the Pharisees demanded that Jesus tell them whether or not to stone the woman in accordance with Moses' law, Jesus told them "Let he without sin cast the first stone". Of course, no one could, so they left, leaving the woman with Jesus. He did not condemn her, but forgave her, and instructed her not to sin again. The moral is a powerful one; none of us have the right to cast judgement, for we are all sinners in one way or another. Jesus did not condemn this woman for her wrongs, and so neither should we as his followers. The pastor explained that these men were so ready to persecute her because they felt that they were different than her, nobler than her; they felt that they had committed no wrong. But really, they were as sinful as she, perhaps more so. They just didn't want to admit it. When we think that we are better than our fellow men and women we are just making ourselves look bad; the only perfect person is Jesus.
After I spoke to the pastor and he welcomed me to the church, giving me information on their services, as well as on the Young Adults group they have that will allow me to meet followers my age with the same ideals and values as me.
It was honestly such an amazing experience, and I feel blessed and humbled that God has led me to this wonderful group of people.
God bless you all X