I am on holiday in South Korea with my best friend Fr Koala. We have been thinking about how to go to church here.
We are both priests so we could easily give communion to each other. But what would be the point of that? We would not meet and make friends with people who are different to us.
We think church is very important because it is a community hub. In secular community hubs we gravitate towards people who are just like us. In church we sit in the pews with people who are not like us at all. Church matters because it brings together people who live very different lifestyles.
I am a priest so obviously I think the Eucharist matters too. But I do not believe that church is simply a consecrating-the-wafer factory. The Eucharist can take place anywhere and at any time. You humans do not realise how often we animals celebrate communion at the bottom of your gardens.
Now, back to our present situation. Fr Koala and I would like to go to church in Seoul but we have begun to feel very shy about it.
If only all churches had glass walls. Then it would be easier to go inside without the sense of entering a hidden space full of unknown things. We are animals and we are always wary about strange territory and dark caves. There could be bears inside!
And if only all churches had notices outside in several languages, clearly indicating service times and customs. Then we would feel even less that we were walking into the unknown.
God is everywhere so we can talk to him whenever we want. But it would be nice to go to church in Korea. We will try our best and report back to you next time.