The Story of Stephen, a Reader, 18 years old
The reasoning behind why I attend church is based mainly on Scripture; for as Christians we are called to be the ‘body of Christ’. This suggests that we must be unified in our beliefs and our faith; on our own we are only mere ‘parts’ of the ‘body’ which we are called to create. Therefore we must work together, in oneness, to be true followers of Christ and create his ‘body’ on earth: the Church. As each of us has different skills and spiritual gifts, we must unite in order to create completeness inside the ‘body of Christ’; for ‘what use would the gift of tongues be if there is nobody to interpret it?’, so in this manner we must be one in Christ, through the Church, to encompass all facets of God’s glory. In my eyes this makes attending church a necessity for Christian living.
Another fundamental reason why I attend church is to be sustained as a Christian by God’s living Word and through the Eucharist, which leads me on to my next question: what does the Eucharist mean to me? The Eucharist, for me, is a stepping stone in my spiritual journey to God. Jesus came to call us to the Father and ‘When we bless the cup at the Lord’s table, aren’t we sharing in the blood of Christ? And when we break the bread, aren’t we sharing in the body of Christ?’ Therefore by participating in the Eucharist we are drawing ourselves into unity with our Lord Jesus Christ and in doing so we bring ourselves closer to our heavenly Father. In turn we bring ourselves closer to the hope of eternal life. We know, through Scripture, that ‘Our forefathers ate manna and died’ but because of the Eucharist we can share in Jesus’ body, the ‘bread of life’, and we are promised that ‘he who feeds on this bread will live forever’ – a promise I wish to share in. This is a brief explanation of what the Eucharist means to me. I participate so that I may receive the ‘bread of life’ and, in turn, I am drawn closer to the Father and the promise of joining Him in paradise. As Jesus told us, ‘nobody can come to the Father except through me’. Thus to know God and share in paradise we must first receive His Son, Jesus Christ.