Sunday, December 8, 2013

I Went to Church Today, But Didn't Have To

I could I have skipped church today.  But I didn't want to.

Know why?

I love church and want to go.

I love to be there.  I love the atmosphere.  I love the happiness in the voices of all the people, the laughter and joy, the greetings of friends old and new, and the hugs.

You don’t have to beg me to be there.  Nothing competes for my dedication to the worship hour on Sunday.  I will be there, rain or shine, feeling it or not.

I love church so much that I have missed fewer Sundays than I can count on the fingers of one hand in over 35 years.  No kidding.  Even when on vacation, I look for a house of worship when Sunday comes rolling around.

I met my wife in church.  I was married in church.  I was baptized in church.  I dedicated my babies in church.  And I’ve made life-long friends in church.

Most importantly, I have come to know Jesus Christ in church.

So what did we do in church today?

1.  Our worship was prompted by someone else.  Had I stayed home and worshipped, I would have been my own prompter.  But to worship God under the prompting and leadership of another is a good thing.

2.  We received spiritual nourishment from those led by the Holy Spirit.  The worship leaders carefully chose and selected the songs we sang; the musicians skillfully played; and the singers sang with glorious talent, making it easy for the rest of us.  The morning message from God’s Word was Christ honoring and edifying to the body of believers.

3.  We had a full 80 minutes of uninterrupted worship, focusing on nothing else than God.  From the call to worship, prayers, songs, scripture reading, message, and benediction, it was 80 minutes of focusing on God.  Had I stayed home to worship on my own, after 10 minutes or so I would have thought of a dozen other things to do.

4.  We were prompted and reminded to prioritize spiritual things that we may not have thought of on our own.  A public assembly on the Lord’s Day has a certain anointing that does not exist elsewhere.  It’s how we “provoke one another unto good works.”

5.   It is my Christian duty to be there.  Jesus Christ gave His life for my salvation.  The very least I can do is give Him my allegiance on the first day of the week, Sunday, which is “the Lord’s Day” – not my day.

6.  I witnessed many others who were there for the same reason as myself -  they wanted to be there - and it was very encouraging to me.  There were a lot of people in church today who had every reason to stay home.  Their attendance was a personal sacrifice and great inconvenience.  But as members in the Body, they knew their part was vital to the whole.  Seeing their dedication and selfless service for the sake of others was inspiring.  

Yea, I was glad I went to church today.

And I plan on being there next Sunday and the Sunday after that.

I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go to the house of the LORD (Psalms 122:1)

No comments: