The roof will not col­lapse if you go to church

>> On the hori­zon

Kyabram Free Press - - NEWS -

I HAVE re­cently had the ex­pe­ri­ence of shop­ping in a su­per­mar­ket. My first big prob­lem was to lo­cate the items on my shop­ping list. I found the whole ex­pe­ri­ence quite daunt­ing in ne­go­ti­at­ing through the isles dodg­ing the shop­ping trol­leys parked in the mid­dle of the isle. Then as you get around this ob­sta­cle, com­ing to­wards me is an­other trol­ley loaded with gro­ceries and a child hang­ing onto the trol­ley pulling it in an­other di­rec­tion to­wards some­thing it wanted, but not get­ting any re­sponse from the mother.

Now when I look at the shop­ping list and try to find the isle that stocks what I am look­ing for, only to find that it is at the other end and the hazard of ne­go­ti­at­ing around other shop­per’s trol­leys. I found the area with all the ce­re­als but now more con­fu­sion. What size packet do I buy, what added fruit types do I want? A big­ger prob­lem is now which box gives me the best value for money per unit of quan­tity?

Hav­ing made all the pur­chases on my list the next de­ci­sion is which check­out counter I go to. A quick count of the ar­ti­cles in the trol­ley tells me that dis­qual­i­fied me from the quick check­out. Then there are the rows of do it your­self check­out. To my mind was to go to the reg­u­lar check­out and have the cashier put it through the sys­tem and load into the carry away bags.

As I re­flected on my ex­pe­ri­ence of shop­ping in the su­per­mar­ket and the un­fa­mil­iar way it all works, I could not help think­ing how it must be for some­one who has never been to a church ser­vice, or has been a lapsed church goer en­ter­ing in un­fa­mil­iar ter­ri­tory. For many it is the fear of the un­known and the old say­ing, ‘the roof will col­lapse if I go to church’. The strange thing is I know of no church where the roof fell in when some­one new came through the door.

Per­haps part of the prob­lem is you may not feel as though you would be wel­come. You won­der, ‘would any­body speak with me?’ You may be sur­prised. The con­cept of church is the gath­er­ing of the peo­ple for giv­ing worth to God for all his good­ness, love, for­give­ness. It is about peo­ple car­ing for one an­other, pray­ing for one an­other. It is a com­mu­nity of peo­ple wel­com­ing strangers on the ba­sis that they could well be en­ter­tain­ing an­gels.

If you have given up the habit of at­tend­ing church or never been, why not seek out the lo­cal church near you and have a new ex­pe­ri­ence. Robert Arnold Pas­tor, Kyabram Bap­tist Church.

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