My family walks to church every Sunday.
We can see the church from our house. It’s a part of our neighborhood. It’s our home.
We don’t take many steps to reach the church doors from our home.
But each step becomes a prayer as we gather for worship.
Each step lifts up those in pain.
Each step lifts up those facing broken relationships.
Each step lifts up those who doubt.
Each step lifts up those frustrated and lonely.
Each step lifts up places of need across the world.
Each step lifts up the neighborhood.
Each step lifts up all who come through the church doors.
Each step lifts up those who would never step through the church doors.
We walk to church and pray.
We pray and walk to church.
The last few weeks I’ve been supply preaching 30 miles from my home.
I get into my car and travel the roads to church.
Sometimes I revel in the silence. Sometimes I enjoy listening to music or a podcast.
This morning I reflected on all the ways we come to church.
The actual paths that take us into church buildings.
The roadblocks that get in our way.
The people who welcome us, and also the people who make us feel unwelcome.
The signs that remind us we’re on the right path.
The detours that delay our journey.
The times we have to turn around and refigure our path.
The roads to church are many and varied. As are the people who come through the church doors.
The road itself teaches us how to travel with grace.
How to slow down and take breaks.
How to share the road with others.
How to invite others to join us on our journey.
How to wait.
How do you travel to church?
Who invited you along the way?
Who can you invite to share the journey with you?
Who can you lift up in prayer?
It’s a wonderful road, this life of faith in community.
Enjoy the ride. Enjoy the walk. Enjoy the way.
Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two, and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, MO. Her website is http://www.kimberlyknowlezeller.com