Okay, before we continue, let’s get this out of the way:
E’erybody Oughta Go To Sunday School
Sunday School Sunday School
(Women:) The Men (Men:) The Women
(Girls:) The Boys (Boys:) The Girls
E’erybody Oughta Go To Sunday School
Now that this song is nicely implanted in your head from your childhood, we may continue with your regularly scheduled blog post. I’d continue the song on and sing about e’erybody backin’ the preacher, but that is a command that needs more than a few paragraphs. Another time, another place…
It seems these days a lot of people who are Christians do not see the importance of church attendance. They’ve either been hurt, don’t have the time to find a good church where they feel they fit in, or they’ve simply fallen out of the habit/not ever learned to establish the habit. Many do not feel it is required, or even biblical. However, it is:
19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,21 and having a High Priest over the house of God,22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:19-25 NKJV
There is a reason this command was given. When we attend church we are strengthened in many ways. To name a few:
- Encouragement: Having a strong, leading, not afraid to tell it like it is pastor and church friends will help you keep your focus. Being a Christian is not always sunshine and roses. In the bad times, they are there to show God’s love.
- Education: You can never know too much about what the Bible has to say. Never. I don’t care who you are, it’s not possible.
- Time with God: Sure, you can spend time with God at home, and you still should. However, in church, we are in His house. A time of reverence. We are showing Him that we took time out of our week to focus on Him and Him alone. This is the most important point, I think.
- A positive beginning to the week: I don’t know how many people have told me that when they go to church on Sunday, their week is better and they wake up happier on Monday. (That says a lot, as most people hate Mondays.) I agree.
- Prayer network: When something goes wrong, you have a body of people praying and believing for you. NO. MATTER. WHAT!
- Counseling: Whether from your pastor or another strong Christian in your congregation, there is always someone to talk to. My pastors and Diania can tell you I am often running to them for such. So much easier than handling life’s problems on your own!
- Setting the example: Our children need to see their parents doing what is right. If they don’t learn from us, where will they learn from? Think about that…
- For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them. Matthew 18:20 NKJV
Life circumstances happen. Illness, jobs, family events, etc. It can all get in the way. God understands that when it is truly impossible. But when we are able, we should do our best to be there. A sermon on TV is great, but not the same. Reading a pastor’s blog is encouraging, but not the same. Putting on some worship music and praising in the living room is refreshing, but not the same. There is no substitute for any of the gifts God has given us. You can’t replicate the best. Just try that recipe for IHOP pancakes or a Disneyland Mint Julep you find online. Nothing like the real thing!
And hey, if it wasn’t so fabulous, would there be people in anti-Christian countries fighting for that right? Risking their lives by attending a church service hidden in someone’s home every chance they can? I think not… (That was my version of my Grandma’s “There are children starving in China, Ethiopia, and right down the street” lecture when I refused to finish my healthy dinner…)
Bottom line: Church is good, and good for you. God commands it for a good reason, just as he does everything else. I’m going to admit that I’m not in service as often as I would like, but when I do go… Life is better. Plain and simple. I challenge you: Go for just a few weeks. See how you feel. I bet you won’t want to stop!