Our faith is in the same God. Our Bible is the same Bible. Our church is...well, that is a change! That is a change, and we are helped. I can't put my finger on exactly what-all makes me rejoice in it...maybe because there are too many aspects and I don't have enough fingers to cover them. I love the congregation (though I did before as well). I love the dilapidated building (though when I first saw it, it gave me pause). I love the freedom. What freedom is that? I'm not sure, it seems that it's a feeling the source of which I can't exactly pinpoint. I think it may be the feeling that there's not a church standard, a church culture, apart from the Scriptures that I have to adopt and live up to. Instead, I am gradually learning to shed the cultural norms that I have adopted as part of my faith that really have nothing to do with it. And when we do something in the church, our pastor is quick to make sure that our motivation is right; he doesn't want us motivated out of duty, obligation, fear, guilt...for that I am thankful. It is a beautiful feeling; I feel unhindered, like I could fly, for the joy that I have these days.
It affected my Bible reading this morning. I was reading in the Psalms, and connecting with them. They have a magnified dimension, such a personal, heartfelt interaction.
I waited patiently for the LORD;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock, making my footsteps firm.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear
And will trust in the LORD.
How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust,
And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.
Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done,
And Your thoughts toward us;
There is none to compare with You.
If I would declare and speak of them,
They would be too numerous to count.