I have found it amazing…if not disturbing…Think about it.
What we have turned the Sunday tradition into….?
Sports, Family celebrations, Games, Parties, Activities… Sunday has become just about anything other than church. Rush home to watch the ball game, if it’s in season. Head off to a shopping extravaganza, birthday party, and some other form of entertainment.
Sunday used to be a whole day commitment. Morning. Noon. Afternoon dinner, occasionally at someone’s house, restaurant, but mostly at home. Choir practice. Evening service. Refreshments after service, and often mostly enjoyed at Dunkin’ Donuts. Home to bed by 11pm or so. A full days occupation! Up early Monday for work and school.
This picture is from a childhood time! Great memories …
I still find it difficult to miss church for anything other than being too sick to go…Though I do remember a few Sunday’s in travel between grandparents and home which we enjoyed more than going to church! Just saying! But I do remember going to church while visiting family in the country. Little country churches, small town tabernacles, and even a few larger experiences. Regardless of where we went, Sunday was always a dress up day. Our Sunday Best was often the nicest clothes we owned, and we went to church where there was no A/C! Often hot in the summer. Muggy. But we went because it was the normal thing to do. Every church had unique qualities and experiences, but there was a thread of commonality.
I wonder if there are many congregations that have a similar commitment by everyone in the congregation as it was when I was young. The day has come when we even struggle with commitment to more than a single event on Sunday. Our church culture has changed to match the commitment of today’s fickle world.
Still, church had become such an engine of activity. Our culture was overridden by the culture of the local assembly. But we did choose to participate! And I still participate today.
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 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 10:24-25 NKJV)
The writer is teaching us that we NEED social gatherings when we come together to worship and exhort. Stir up. A phrase common to Paul. Just like he spoke to Timothy.
Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:6-7 NKJV)
Stir up the gift of God. Stir up Love. Stir up GOOD Works.
This should be the purpose of our church service today. Stir up the gift that you received from God! Stir up love for your others. Stir up good works (Matthew 5:16), or deeds as it is sometimes referred to.
You do not get this without gathering with others of similar background and beliefs.
Simple thought… Find a church… Attend regularly… Make it your own and be in regular attendance!