Sunday, November 18, 2018

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


I could I have done something different this morning.  But I didn't.  Know why?

I love church and want to go.

I enjoy being 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 show up.  Nothing competes for my dedication to the worship hour on Sunday.  I will be there, rain or shine, feeling it or not.  Even when on vacation, I usually 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.  We worshiped collectively as the Body of Christ.  Had I stayed home I would have missed my God-given opportunity to worship with fellow believers.    The Christian life was never meant to be solitary. All of the biblical metaphors for a church indicate a plurality, never a singularity: we are a body, a flock, a building, and a holy nation. There are no “lone wolves” in biblical Christianity.

2.  We had a full 80 minutes of uninterrupted time 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.

3.  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.”

4.  We “remembered” Jesus’ death.  We received communion today and were reminded of Jesus’ sacrifice that made our salvation possible.  Our tendency is to allow the pace of life, the challenges of life, even the routine of our religion to fog up the importance of what Christ did for us on the cross.  And when our memory fades, so does our wonder of Christ.

5.  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.  A few people were there after working the night shift all night long.  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)

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