“I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.” (Psalm 122:1)
It’s Sunday—the day we come together to worship God. Recent events have affected our weekly time together, or at least altered the way in which we typically gather, but still we worship. It may be online, in smaller sized groups, or in video calls, but we come together to worship God and rejoice in His presence. And the important word here is together.
We’ve all heard excuses people offer for why they don’t attend church or feel it is essential in their lives. I can commune with God anywhere. The church is filled with hypocrites. My needs (or my children’s needs) aren’t being met. People are not nice/friendly/interested/loving. It’s not relevant to modern life. I can worship at home. I’m sure you’ve heard these excuses and many more.
I’m a list maker by nature—grocery lists, packing lists, things to do lists. So I decided to make a list of some of the reasons I feel church attendance is important in my life as a Christian. This is not a complete list by any means, but these are the thoughts that came to mind as I pondered why I love going to church.
- God expects it. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
- Jesus exampled it (Luke 4:16)
- I feel God’s presence as we worship together. (Matthew 18:20)
- I need the preached Word to grow in God. (Acts 2:42; I Timothy 4:13; Romans 10:14-17)
- I enjoy fellowship and community with other believers. (I John 1:7)
- I need you; we strengthen each other. (Galatians 6:2, Romans 1:11-12; Hebrews 10:23-25)
- It reinforces truth in my life and keeps me grounded. (I Timothy 3:15)
- My presence is important; I have a place to fill in the body. (I Corinthians 12:25-27)
- It provides a positive example to our children and others. (Proverbs 22:6; Hebrews 6:11-12)
Corporate worship is a powerful experience. As I am surrounded by all those familiar faces, I realize I am part of something bigger than myself. Can I live for God on my own? Yes. (Think John on Patmos and Paul in prison.) Sometimes situations arise that keep us apart from our brothers and sisters in Christ. But if I negligently or deliberately separate myself from the body of Christ, I am setting myself up for weakness, discouragement, and failure. My spiritual growth will become stunted. I will have no one to encourage me, pray for me, or hold me accountable.
No soldier wants to go into battle alone. Soldiers train together and fight together. They work as a unified force to face the enemy. They cover each other, protect each other, warn each other. We are also fighting a battle against the enemy of our souls, and we need each other to achieve victory. As the Lord’s return grows nearer, the battle becomes fiercer. But as we stand together—loving each other, supporting each other, praying for each other—we will overcome. We stand strong together.
See you in church!
(Note: Some of our brothers and sisters in Christ are shut-ins or in situations that prohibit them from attending service. What can you personally do to encourage them, connect with them, and remind them they are still important to you and to the entire church body? Reach out to someone today.)