I attended the church service of the Quaker Friends this morning. There were some lovely songs to sing that i was not familiar with, but the words were put up on a screen. After the quiet time, there was a guest speaker. He was once a Presbyterian minister in another part of the country. He and his wife had moved to Newberg and started to attend the Friend’s church, and then found out that his dad’s grandmother had been a Quaker and that she was a Sunday school teacher to Herbert Hoover, and later visited Herbert at the White House. He said that knowing that his grandmother was a Quaker in the same place made him feel like he belonged where he was.
I understand him. I understand how people like to see how they are connected before they can feel like they are a part of something. But, i am not a Quaker. I could have easily taken his words and felt like i did not belong there. The thing is, that in many ways, i don’t belong there. Not as a Quaker. I belong there because it is a gathering of people that believe in Christ Jesus as the son of God, and i am a believer in that way. I belong Spiritually.
It once bothered me that it was the only way that i would ever belong to any of the churches on earth. I kept thinking that there had to be a way to belong beyond the way that i already do. To take up one denomination and really want to belong to that one denomination. But, after a few years, i am realizing that i don’t. I really really don’t want to become a member of any one denomination. I want to be first, and only, a member of the body of Christ. And that does not require me to sign any paper. It requires my life and my heart.
So today, when i heard the speaker feeling so at home in the Quaker church, as a Quaker, it was okay. I realize that this is how it is. One way or another, people need feel that they belong.
No matter where i go, i know that i belong to Christ and to His body. I belong to God. Even though i may not feel like i belong to any group on this earth, i know that i belong completely to the one who created me.