There is something to be said about sitting on a church pew. The quality of craftsmanship that went into constructing the benches, to the attention to detail, ensuring a comfortable place to sit for Sunday worship. I myself, do not claim to be a religious person, but every time I find myself sitting on church bench, among fellow worshipers, I feel at peace. Maybe it is because I am among friends or perhaps it is because I find myself sitting on a staple of my childhood, long forgotten.
Church benches provide the perfect place for children and families to worship together where parents try to contain and entertain their small children for the duration of the sermon. What turns out to be an hour of insightful learning and worship, in reality for a small child is a torturous time. Having to learn to be quiet and sit still, didn’t fare well with me and my young siblings. Church pews quickly turned into desk where we could color, draw, and write notes, while simultaneously serving as race tracks for the small toy trucks that were snuck into church via pants pockets.
Now as an adult, I occasionally find myself sitting among my fellow worshipers, hanging on to every word that resonates from the majestic pulpit. Memories of attending Sunday worship with my family come rushing back, as I slowly rub my fingers along the fabric that gently hugs the seat of the bench. These benches all look and feel the same regardless of the congregation that I find myself sitting among. These are my brothers and sisters in church, and we all find ourselves sitting comfortably on a church bench week after week, learning and growing together.
It all starts with a church pew, where we are able to sit together, as a community, and worship together. That to me is the purpose of having church pews instead of chairs, as a way to worship together, as one-fold; as one flock; as one.