Christs love in action

Have you ever gotten a questioning look from someone when you tell them “I have to go to church” or “no, I cannot help with that, I have a church commitment at that time”. Or how about being asked out on a date on Christmas Eve and you tell the young person, “no I have to go to church tonight”! I have been on the receiving end of many of those looks and conversations! Sometimes it is followed up with a half question “oh, you go to church?” Sometimes it has been followed up with “oh could I go with you”. My answer is always a strong YES! YES, I do go to church and YES, of course you can come with me! I may not walk the streets holding up signs or handing out pamphlets but, when I’m asked I do not deny, I proclaim it loud and clear! Yes, I go to church! Yes I do believe! I was raised Lutheran in a church in Camillus, NY with my grandparents, parents, and siblings. It was never a question of should we go to church or do we believe; our family simply did not question that, we just did it. I was asked out on Christmas Eve when I was in high school and I could tell the young man just didn’t want to be alone on Christmas eve so I countered and invited him to my church. He didn’t hesitate, he came to church and I could feel him staring at me in a questioning look like “how do you know all these words”. I knew I was not going to date the person but, for one night I invited someone to experience a church celebration on one of the greatest services of the Lutheran year! I was asked periodically as a teenager about church/religion and my answer never changed. I always believed, that was it! I listened to the lessons, I learned the lessons, and that has been my life! I do not know everything about the Lutheran faith and I would never profess that I did because I feel that I still learn every day of my life! I will share with you that I have a close family member that became Baptist and is a Born again Christian. That family member had a mission to “save” me. As a young teenager/adult it was hard for me to understand why I needed to be saved. I didn’t understand why, if I went to their church, they were looking for people who were lost, you always had to bury your head and keep your eyes closed and raise your hand if you wanted to be saved by Jesus Christ. It was very hard to understand because I have believed in God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit my whole life and when anyone ever asked me questions about my faith I would share it openly. My Grandfather helped me to understand when I was still in high school. He explained to me that he was also asked by our family member “why don’t you want to be saved?”, he responded “because I was never lost”. I understood the difference at that point. I believed my whole life. I never felt lost. As an adult, I do not hesitate to spread the word or invite people to my church and I’m proud to do God’s work! ~ Angela Hollenbeck

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