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What Does God Desire?


Question & Answer

Q: By Bryan

Hi, I am An Episcopalian now, I was Roman Catholic up to about four years ago, I’m 62. I would consider myself a progressive christian, but I’m wondering is it necessary to go attend Sunday services? I sometimes wonder if I’m doing it out of guilt or that God will show me favor or listen better. Yours thoughts please and any reading on said topic would be much appreciated. 

A: By Rev. Amanda Hambrick Ashcraft
Dear Bryan,

I think “necessary” might be the wrong word here.  Necessary says to me obligatory, and my faith doesn’t tell me I’m obligated to attend Sunday services…. especially considering how organized Christianity is largely colonized and thrives within a white supremacist patriarchal system. 

I often ask the question instead – what does God desire? 

God desires being in relationship with her, so that we can best know and bring about her kin-dom on Earth as it is in heaven.  

So then we ask, how does one know God’s desires?  We learn God’s desires through the practices of our everydays.  In waking our children up for school, in commuting to work, in seeing a stranger across from us on the Subway, in the clouds, in our meditative practices, in our study of Biblical texts, in our prayers.  Additionally, we know God in community, and therefore attending SOMETHING with other God seeking and believing people enhances and equips our faith and our relationship with God.  This could be a book study, a dinner group, a service activity, or worship.  All of these things, then, become rehearsing the reign of God, which is important to our faith.   

Finally, I do not believe that God shows favor or “listens better” based on our Sunday service attendance; but rather, we become more like God in our intentional relational practices to seek and see and commune with the Divine.

~ Rev. Amanda Hambrick Ashcraft

About the Author
Rev. Amanda Hambrick Ashcraft is an activist, organizer, Baptist minister, and mother of five-year-old twins Zane and Levi and four-year-old Skyler.  She is the Executive Minister for Justice and Movement Building at Middle Collegiate Church and the founder of Raising Imagination, a platform that examines social change at the intersections of faith, parenting and politics. Her activism has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, Yahoo, the Wall Street Journal, Refinery29, and Bust and she is a regular writer and inaugural board member of The Resistance Prays.  She and her family live in the East Village of Manhattan and fight the patriarchy and examine their racism and spirituality together, one cheerio at a time.

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