Sharp About Your Prayers

the challenges, absurdities, and joys of an urban faith

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Jesus says, “Eat Your Broccoli”

March 2nd, 2012 · 1 Comment · Faith and the City

Will Willimon, the Methodist Bishop of North Alabama, likes to say that it is our sacred responsibility, as people of faith, “to work with whomever Jesus drags to church.”

Recently, I used this quotation in a sermon.  After the service a young man came up to me and said, “Sir, that wasn’t Jesus.  That was my Momma!”  I laughed, and suggested that maybe Jesus and his Momma were in cahoots.

I was only half-kidding.

Over the past two months, I have been collecting stories of why people call a particular church home.  Why do you go to this church?  Most of those stories begin with a friend or family member who joyfully and enthusiastically recommends the church—a person who says; “I would love to introduce you to a community where my soul gets fed.”

The #1 reason that an adult begins to attend a church is a strong recommendation—a positive invitation from a friend.

Youth are a different story.  Youth sometimes feel a bit of coercion has been applied to get them out the door on Sunday morning.  “You will go to church young lady!”  That sort of thing.

In a radio interview, Anne Lamott was once asked why she drags her 12 year-old son to church every week.  She responded, “For the same reason that I make him eat his vegetables.  To give him strength.  To give him what I found in the world, which is to say a path and a little light to see by.”

This Sunday is Confirmation Sunday.  We will be welcoming twelve teenagers (one of the largest confirmation classes in FAPC’s history) into full membership in the church.  I know that the parents of these bright and beautiful kids have had plenty of Sunday morning battles along the way, but I also am willing to wager that somewhere down the line these children will thank their parents for it.  They will thank them for showing them the path and for gifting them with the Light.

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Anonymous

    I love Anne Lamott, I love the Traveling Mercies chapter on why she makes Sam go to church (especially when she simply says does so because she can) & I love Confirmation Sunday; therefore, I love this post.