Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to Church I Go....

Somehow, this is the family I have always pictured when it comes to being a church-going family.  And, those of you who know me know that I am not in that picture at all!  LOL  In fact, I would probably burn the picture, give mom a mustache or horns, and then make spit balls out of it to shoot at the preacher.  Ok, so I am not that bad anymore, but since it has only been 3 weeks without a smoke, I am in a bad mood.  (Kirk, please make sure this picture NEVER gets on a bulletin anywhere near me!)

I am also in a bad mood about church lately.  I don't feel connected.  I sort of drag my feet about going, but Gus's homefries are good enough to get me out of bed.  Church just doesn't seem to be making a lot of sense to me lately.  Still I go.  And this is why:

The Bible tells me to.  Oh. My. Goodness.  I just heard something my fundamentalist grandfather would say come out of my mouth (or at least off my fingers as I typed!).  Hebrews 10:23-25 says, Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  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.

I need to hold on, not because I need to be faithful, but because God is faithful and things will work out the way they need to.

Meeting up with other Christians for one day a week is actually a very small portion of time for me.  I am sure I waste more time every week on Facebook. 

Being with other Christians can encourage me to be stronger, to learn more, or just to not be like "that" one.  Whatever the encouragement is, it can give me a push of momentum for my spiritual life.

Typically I would say Christians who love Jesus also love other people and want to find ways to bless them.  There are lots of great ideas from child sponsorship to food banks to medical missions.  Getting into a flow of other people doing things to bring the Kingdom to earth is exciting.

With the "Day" approaching, it seems like it is even more important to be around like minded individuals.  Of course, what is that day?  Is it the destruction of the Temple?  Is it the 2nd coming?  The tribulation?  You know, commentators on the Bible don't seem so sure what the answer is, but a particular day is approaching, the end of something, and that is usually difficult.  Isn't it good to be around friends and family when bad things are happening?  Even if it is a good thing, like Jesus returning, the signs he told us to look for mean there will be trouble.  And, frankly, there is plenty of trouble out there.  I need to be somewhere to feed my spirit enough to keep moving while running life's obstacle course.

There is another verse that speaks to why I go to Church.  Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ, Romans 10:17.

My faith grows when I hear the message that God has been on a mission to reconnect to us and has been maneuvering through the ages for just the right time.  I hear this story, this truth, at church during worship, during the sermon, during prayer, during snippets of conversations.  This is the truth that echoes through the halls as much as in our lives.  Hearing it reminds me, encouraging me to hold on, persevere, because God is faithful and things will work out the way they need to.

Yeah, perhaps I don't go to church for all the right reasons.  I know worshipping God together is supposed to be high on my list, but sometimes the words are dumb or the beat is off & highly distracting.  Besides, I think worshipping God should be an all the time sort of activity.  Thirty minutes one morning a week is not enough for my amazing God, but it is a start and it is still good to set everything aside to focus on God.

So, this morning, I will head to Gus's for quiche and homefries before meeting the rest of the church.  I will hope for songs of meaning and a sermon that spurs my heart, but I will at least have had a good breakfast and taken a bit of time to tell God that

But while I do my time at church, I also believe what James says: What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?  Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.  But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.  You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. James 2:14-19

Lovers of Christ are not meant to be contained in 4 walls.  We must go out to the world and show God's love or we do not really love Christ.  I don't think church isn't meant to be an end, but a rest stop on the highway.  Fuel up, clean up, rest up, then get up. 

But, that's just me.  Why do you go to church?

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