Tess Wynn attends Sunday morning worship service every week, as well as an occasion Sunday evening service. She is also a regular attender of her churches Thursday evening Bible study. She loves the music, the fellowship, the food, and the inspiration. Her story wouldn't be that remarkable except for one thing: Tess Wynn is a self-described atheist.
Last week Wynn wrote a post entitled, "Why I Love the Church Even Though I am an Atheist". She explains:
"I guess what originally drew me to the church that I go to (which is called Kingdom Vineyard, in St. Andrews, Scotland), is the atmosphere. The sense of celebration that is evident from the moment that you walk in the door-- if you are on your own, someone will immediately come round and introduce themselves and offer you coffee and a doughnut (and who can refuse a free doughnut?!). There is never any question as to whether you are welcome or not: you absolutely are."
She goes into greater details concerning what exactly she loves about the church and ends with,
"I love sharing my life with others, and supporting them with their endeavours and being supported in return. These are important aspects of my church experiences and I have not managed to find other groups here at university that fill those roles in my life. Finally, I think I just really love food. My Thursday bible study group? We cook each other dinner! When I have a dinner party, who is by far most likely to attend? My Christian friends! Meal-sharing is emphasized in Christianity and there is little else in the world I appreciate more than good food and good company at the same time. So yes, I love church. And no, I don't believe in God. I hope that is okay with you, but even if it isn't-- that doesn't matter to me, since I have a whole bunch of friends from my church who love me anyways :-)"
I like Tess. I like her a lot. Moreover, I think I like her church.
The Church is the physical body of Christ on earth and I cringe every time I hear someone say they love Jesus but not the church (I've been cringing a lot lately). The Church is the Bride of Christ, and when the wedding comes, I would much rather be at the altar with my veil askew than snickering from the pew. In other words, I want to be the bride, not a spectator.
Tess is on to something important here. She might not know the source of the inspiration that she is experiencing, yet she is undoubtedly standing under a faucet of grace.