You may have heard something like the following:
"I don't go to church because I see God and commune with God in nature. I don't need a church to do that."
To that I say, no kidding!
It is easy to see God in nature (just google "seeing God" and see how many nature images come up). It is easy to get lost in the transcendent on a mountain top or at the bottom of a canyon or deep within the forest. You would have to be dead in order not to be gasp at the colors blazing across the sky at a sunset or breath deeply when the dawn breaks. One would have to be out of their mind if they are unable to see the power of the universe and world when water pushes a house off its foundation or when a wind picks up a truck and bats it about like a Tonka toy.
You see God in nature? No $%#@! Anyone can do that because it is easy and obvious.
It is a lot harder to see God in the middle of a messy relationship. It is much more difficult to see God when people are angry at one another. It is much harder to see the divine spark in the world when there is betrayal. When we gasp at the discovery that our trust has been violated by a friend, we would much rather be gazing at the sunset.
I go to church and am apart of a community to help me see God when it is much harder than when I am alone in the forest.
Because I do not live as a hermit in a tree. I am a person who lives in relationship with others. And frankly, other people can be real jerks (including me).
I want to meet the people who can see God in the hurt and chaos of the world.