Would it surprise you that there are some Wednesday nights that I don’t want to go to church for Bible Study and Prayer Meeting? Would you be aghast if you knew that there are even some Sundays that I would rather stay home and rest because I’ve had a difficult week or a Saturday night when I didn’t get much sleep, or when I did not feel my best? Perhaps it wouldn’t surprise you that I go to church anyway…and come home afterward with a joy in my heart that I did!
I know that there are some, who claim to be Christians, but say that they have no use for or no need for church. Perhaps they have been hurt, or disappointed by other Christians, or feel out of place, or ________, ( fill in the blank with your own excuse!) But, God never intended for any of us to be ‘solo Christians’. Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matt 18:20 KJV. He encouraged the gathering together of His people. We need each other and the encouragement and edification that come from worshipping together.
We really have few reasons for not going to church. There are some which are legitimate, but many are not reasons, but excuses disguised as reasons. Years ago a man told me that the reason he couldn’t attend church was that the elastic on his underwear caused a rash around his waist. Let that sink in a minute and you will find a simple solution to that problem! This was not a reason, but an excuse. Someone has said that an excuse is just the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie. Truly, we have many excuses, but few reasons.
One verse which is often quoted to those who are frequently absent from church is Heb 10:25 “ Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” While it is an admonition to encourage the assembling together, we must know that the reason this admonition was given is found in the last part of the verse, “as ye see the day approaching.”
These Hebrew Believers were beginning to experience the beginnings of a coming time of persecution and the writer admonishes them to gather together for the mutual benefit that comes from being together during such times. It is better to suffer together than to be alone during such times.
Could it be that your personal difficulties just might become less traumatic if shared with other like minded Believers? The Psalmist here reflects joyfully on having accepted an invitation to “go to church” as it were and says, “I’m glad that I went!” I know that when I don’t feel like going, I am always glad that I did! Maybe you will too; give it a try!
Often sung around Thanksgiving, the hymn, WE GATHER TOGETHER, was originally folk hymn from the Netherlands. No one knows the author, but Theodore Baker translated it and the music was arranged by Edward Kremser. It can be found in most hymnals.