Accepting Nurturing from the Church

“Holy mother church”—historians are not certain who first said it. The statement has been attributed by some to Cyprian, by others to Augustine. The assertion has survived since the early centuries of Christian history—”Who does not have the church as his mother does not have God as his Father.” From its earliest days, the church was given the appellation “mother.”

The use of paternal and maternal language is an intriguing phenomenon in religion. We cannot deny the virtual universal tendency to seek ultimate consolation in some sort of divine maternity. We have all experienced the piercing poignancy that attends the plaintiff cry of a child who, in the midst of sobs, says, “I want my mommy.” Who of us, when we were children, did not utter these words? Among those who are parents, which of us has not heard these words?

The nurturing function of the church most clearly links it to the maternal image. It is in the church that we are given our spiritual food. We gain strength from the sacraments ministered to us. Through the Word we receive our consolation and the tears of broken hearts are wiped clean. When we are wounded, we go to the church for healing.

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

Spend some time reflecting on the nurturing function of the church. Is this evident in your church fellowship?

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Worship – How we are created to praise God

Going to church does not save us, but we are called by God to gather together. The temptation for many is to use the resources that are found online or elsewhere, and meet with other believers, but skip the idea of going to church. Church is where true worship as a community of believers occurs. It is where ministry can happen in a way different than any individual or small group can deliver.

As we grow closer to Jesus Christ, we should develop a desire to worship God, receive His Word, and fellowship with other believers. In fact, it is not just a nice suggestion but something the Bible tells us is God’s will for us.

We encourage you to find a good Bible-teaching church. Review their statement of faith and visit to experience what they are about. Ask about membership requirements and baptism to understand their beliefs and how they view God’s word. Don’t think of it as who can offer the best coffee or coolest music. There is nothing wrong with those things, but they are not the point. Look for a place where you can become part of a community that will help you grow closer to God and worship him well.