Monday, May 16, 2011

Quiet Moments With God -- If No One Shows Up

We've all heard the question, "What would happen if there was a war and no one came?" That would likely be a good thing, but I got to thinking about the concept, only in the context of church. What if the doors of the churches were open and no one came? If statistics are accurate that's where we're heading. Attendance is down, the 20 and 30 something's are staying home. There's a spiritual war going on and we need to be ready to battle. But first we must be prepared.

I love church so showing up is usually easy for me. Christ told us to gather together. And when He speaks we need to listen. He means what He says. There are important reasons for us to attend church. Sadly many people choose not to go. Others show up, but they're not really there. They are simply filling space, doing what's expected. If we claim to be followers of Christ what does it say about us when we can't give our Lord a couple of hours once a week?

Let's be honest. Sometimes Sunday morning comes and we've got other things to do that don't include God. Maybe we've got a garden that needs our attention, or a fishing trip planned. Sometimes all I want to do is plunk down on the sofa, with a blanket wrapped around me, a cup of coffee in hand and a movie running on my television. Occasionally that's how I spend a Sunday morning.

I don't want to get legalistic about church attendance. Sometimes we miss church for good reason. And God doesn't stomp on us if we decide to go fishing on occasion or do some gardening or even watch a movie. But I think our Heavenly Father is grieved when His children refuse to make time for Him. They don't understand that He wants to meet with them. Getting together with God happens in all sorts of settings, and church is one of them.

When I choose to remain home wrapped in my blanket I miss out. I miss out on worship, on fellowship, and on the teaching of God's Word.

Corporate worship lifts my spirits and helps me see God. Sometimes when I'm surrounded by the voices of other believers I know my Lord is there.

My pastor works hard to prepare and share lessons from God's Word. It is spiritual nourishment. Without it we will starve. Starvation destroys lives. But when we know the treasures hidden within the heart of God life is so much sweeter. How amazing it is to know that He speaks directly to us through His Word. And though we do not see it, a spiritual battle is being waged. We cannot win that war without the armor of God. Only in His Word will you discover the armor you need to fight and win.

At church we spend time with our Christian family. Consider how we feel when long periods of time pass without seeing our husband or wife, our mother and father, our children, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles. Time spent with family refreshes our soul. Sunday means family time.

Gathering together is a gift. Be there.

Grace and peace to you from God.



  1. Funny, I had this conversation with a few people the other day. I was the only one who went to church regularly. The other two said they believed in God but felt they didn't need to worship Him in a formal setting. My response was that maybe they didn't feel they needed the formal setting, but what if the formal setting needed them?

    I love how you mentioned that Christ told us to gather together. We tend to overlook that sometimes. I think that maybe part of the reason we need to gather isn't just for our own spiritual growth but for the benefit of others.

    When I go to church I am often touched by something someone says -- or a special musical number -- or the words in a prayer. Sometimes it's just the overwhelming feeling of belonging I need and I can't feel that sitting home all alone. I think church attendance builds community and gives us opportunities to serve and receive service. I think church attendance is one of the most selfish and one of the most selfless thing any of us can do.

  2. Kav, you are so exactly right! I'm so thankful you commented on this. What we give to the body is hugely important. We are to love and serve one another.

    And I love what you said about a feeling of belonging -- so true. The people in my church are my family. I don't know how I'd make it through life without them.

    Many blessings to you.