Last time I went to church I had an epiphany. It was communion Sunday. For those of you who may or may not go to church, this is a special time to receive forgiveness for the sins that you have committed, forgive others that have sinned against you, and renew your relationship with God.
Whether you believe in it or not, the rituals contained in religion are socially important. To spend time contemplating your actions, your identity and your values in relation to the larger world around you is important no matter what your faith is. I don't know if I would contemplate such weighty matters if I did not go to church. I would probabally lay on the recliner eating Swiss rolls and drinking coffee, watching Spongebob or playing Rachet and Clank while my wife yells at me to mow the lawn(when left to myself, I tend towards an incredible state of slack in almost no time at all).
Anyway, back to my epiphany. I'm standing in church singing with the congregation during a slow worship song. I'm thinking about communion coming up in the service, and what a mess I've made of the week with all of the sins I have committed and all of the things I have left undone. Then I move onto the larger issues, How did I get to where I am now? I never meant to end up here, I wanted such grander things for my life. I had goals and dreams, and they seem to be getting farther and farther away.
I then heard in my heart God speaking to me. No, not an audible voice, no not some psychotic voice in my head, but those unspoken words that are clear in the inner heart, like some spiritual instant message downloaded into my consciousness. He said,
"All of these other things are not important. What you accomplish, who you become, what things that you do whether good or bad are not what's important. What is important is the relationship you have with me. Turn away from all of your actions, stop looking at them. Cultivate a real relationship with me first of all, and everything else will take care of itself."
Now this is not something theologically new, but it is to me. It seems that whenever I found myself far from God, and feeling distant, it almost always has something to do with this. He keeps bringing me back time and time again to relationship, grace, and resting everything on him, and not letting actions, status, goals and sins separate us.
Purgatory: A place of suffering and torment with an unknown duration. In Roman Catholic Theology-the place where the dead are purified from their sins.
By Rage Against The Machine