It didn’t seem like much effort was put into the lyrics, standing among the rows of crooked chairs at summer camp. It was the camp’s statement of faith squashed onto the projector screen, repetitive and unnecessary from what I could see. “I believe in God the Father, I believe in Jesus Christ, I believe in the Holy Spirit, etc, etc.” What was the point of it all? I already knew what I believed in.
The bridge, however, struck me with one line, “I believe in your holy church.” Despite what the rest of the song said, I couldn’t truly believe that line. God’s holy church didn’t mix up their theology or teach some spiritual gifts as higher than others, and they definitely didn’t fire godly, serving moms. I shouted that line, my way, I suppose, of asking God, “How holy is the church, really? What kind of church fires my mom?” I didn’t understand it.
As time passed and we settled into a new church, I began to see what my old church, from what I had observed and experienced, had lacked–community, and a type of preaching I thoroughly enjoyed. There was a reason God had sent us to this new church–there was a reason my mom had been fired.
When the same song appeared in church one day and I sang the line of his holy church, I looked around at the rows of different chairs and new faces and realized I believed in it once again. I shouted it still, but this time with conviction and thankfulness. God’s church was holy. Maybe it felt that the leaders at my old church had intended to harm us, but God intended it for good.
God was good.