Why Should I go to church?
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25
“You know, I could get used to this sleeping in on Sunday morning and having church online while lying on the couch in my sweats with a mocha and my head in my wife’s lap like Samson!” I said to Pastor Peter with a smile on my face. That was last summer. As time went on however, it was clear to me that although we were very thankful for all the hard work the staff did every week in preparing the online services, something was missing. While zooming was a real blessing, it was just not the same as being with the Hope church family in person. A silver lining to the pandemic is that there has never been more online church worship and studies available. The bad news is that the church is like a bunch of coals. Kept together they keep each other burning. Separated they go out.
Our Sunday study group put our heads together and listed reasons why we thought it was important to attend church in person:
1. Jesus did. Luke 4:16 says “He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom,” I’ll bet he was on time too!
Jesus was passionate about building his church. Matthew 16:18 says “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”
2. I know this is fairly obvious but we are commanded to, not just the commandment written in the Old Testament but in the Hebrews scripture written above and elsewhere.
3. The early church did. Acts 20:7 says “On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.” I’m not sure even Pastor Peter would want to preach that long! Acts 2:42 says “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:46-47 says “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Note that it is the Lord who adds to the number of those being saved. It was a joy to see the number of new members last Sunday! There are many more references in scripture to the church meeting together, sometimes in people’s houses but always a group is implied.
4. To worship corporately. Worshiping God alone can be awesome. I love to marvel at His creation. I thank Him for all he has done for me. I love to sing along with music in the car or at home, but there’s something about worshiping with others who believe the same things you do that is especially uplifting. It’s great to sing favorite old hymns rich in meaning together. I am especially comforted from hearing the church body sing the old hymns together during emotional times, such as a memorial service. But note also that God says to sing some new songs too. Psalm 149:1 says “Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the godly.” There you go-we are commanded to sing corporately and to learn new songs. Does God get tired of the oldies? And Psalm 150:3-5 says “Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.” Sounds like to whole band to me, and loud too!
There is a lot more to corporate worship that we will pick up next week. For next week read through Hebrews 10:19-25.
Until then I will leave you with this:
I was delighted to see my friend Bob M. at church last Sunday. Bob is not just a good “Git-R-Done” guy, but is extremely well read and smarter than I am. I loved what he told me on Sunday: “I told Pastor Peter he better get church going before there’s no more church left in me!” Did he not just say everything I have written in one sentence?!
Blessings on the rest of your week, and God-willing, see you on Sunday!
Dear Lord, We thank you for the blessing of your church, Hope Lutheran. Thank you for the staff and the many hours they serve you and others. Please give us a love for you and our church family that we joyfully look forward to meeting every week to praise you and uplift others. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.