Sunday, August 14, 2011

Why Go To Church?

Let's see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on. ~ Hebrews 10:24-25 (The Message )

Why do we go to church?

This morning my grandson didn't want to go to church. He was too tired to get up. So I brought his clothes to him and helped him get dressed and let him stay in bed for a while longer. As departure time got closer, I turned on the bedroom light and "encouraged" him to get up. I gave him a banana and started looking for my watch. My husband told me he was leaving for church (we walk) and that Owen was on the computer in the back. Oh bother! He will not happily get off the computer. He cried and screamed about wanting to finish his game. I maintained an even tone of voice as well as my temper and told him to pause it and he could continue after church. "I don't wanna go to church!"

With a lot cajoling, I got him out the front door though still repeating his mantra, "I don't wanna go to church!" I explained to him that going to church is our way of thanking God for all he does for us. He made the earth for us to live on, put us in a family that loves us, and everything we have came from God. The next time he repeated his mantra, it was in a civil tone.

Owen goes to church because we make him go. We go to church because it is who we are, it is what we do.

When I was a new Christian I believed, and probably rightly so at the time, that I should go to church to get what I needed to grow and mature in the faith and to receive all I needed to be the person God wanted me to be. I! I! I! Me! Me! Me!

A ways down the road on my journey with God I realized that it's not all about me. The focus is almost always on others. I read this scripture with new eyes. "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another." ~ Hebrews 10:24-25 (New International Version)

Oh my gosh! I'm not supposed to go to church for what I can get out of it but for what I can give to it. God can use me to be in service to others who have come to church, but only if I go.

It doesn't matter if I don't feel like going to church. It matters what God needs me to do at church on Sunday morning. And although I enter church as a servant of God, I receive more blessings than I give. That's the way God works.

Now it's your turn. Why do you go to church? (By church I include Synagogue, Mosque, Temple or whatever your place of spiritual attendance may be.)

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