Did you know that more and more people are declaring themselves as spiritual but not religious (SBNR)? In her sermon on November 15, Reverend Jana Purkis-Brash said that 70 percent of millennials describe themselves as more spiritual than religious. Yet some 55 percent of individuals rarely or never pray to God or attend service, don’t read the Bible or gather together. Religion and spirituality are not separate, says Pastor Jana, but are one and it is hard to have one without the other.
Gathering together is an important part of who we are and that is why people feel alone in difficult times in life when there is no community to gather with. Gathering with the community can be a place that offers us hope. In church we also receive the gift of a congregation that we embrace so we do not have to face our grief alone. It is God putting on flesh to walk that journey with us, she adds.
Pastor Jana reminds us in 1 Samuel 1: 4-20 that Hannah is not an SBNR but a member of an organized religion highly committed to spiritual practices who needs that help to continue on her journey. She goes to the temple, deeply distressed and weeping bitterly, pours out her soul to the Lord and feels God’s presence right there in the sanctuary. As we seek to grow in spirit, Hannah is an example of a role model for us, as she says, “I have asked him of the Lord.” So also, we deepen our faith when we follow Hannah to the sanctuary.
Prayers are offered not just as a request for help but as an indication of people telling the truth about their needs. However, we must also remember that while God will answer our prayer, it is God’s will that is done, not ours.
SBNR, religion, spirituality, Millennials, congregation, community, sanctuary, Hannah, faith, childless, grief, vow, prayer, Elkanah, God’s will, needs, sermon.