Have you ever contemplated the purpose of church? We've all heard the verse admonishing us to "forsake not the assembling of yourselves together"...
My husband and I have many times been in the situation where church = busyness. Several years ago, we were church searching. We visited a church on a Wednesday night and only a short time later, felt we should join. Within no time, we were stuck in all available slots...Sunday School, Children's Church, Awana on Wednesday night, the Nursery, and even the Missions Project. I can remember going to church several times and never hearing a sermon. Is that the purpose of church?? Do we need to be so busy with doing things that we never have a chance to "be still and know that I am God"?
Even now, Darren has been preaching every Sunday for my dad, I am helping in Sunday School, we sing in the choir, and there is the Christmas Play starting up. Why do I sometimes find myself resenting all these things?? And why, if you are not involved with numerous church activities, do you feel guilty and like you aren't pulling your weight?
Where is the balance in serving and worshiping?
And to add to that, sometimes its just the atmosphere as a whole. Before church begins, things such as dinners, and meetings, and events are discussed. Have you ever realized that the service has begun and you are still thinking about your calendar for the week...what night each event is taking place, what dish you need to bring to the dinner, what craft or snack items you need to remember to bring for Sunday School...and before you know it, the sermon is nearly finished and you've not taken time to listen and be fed. It's sad. It makes me contemplate the purpose of church. Sometimes it makes me wonder why we bother. Does that sound like a heathen? Well, I am a Christian ..and I have these thoughts.
Do you ever wonder what it would be like to walk into church...straight in a one-room church...sit down and breathe...smile at a fellow parishoner..and then close your eyes...and breathe. As you sit, you begin to hear faint strains of music...simple music...filling God's house. There are no meetings, no events, no to-do lists...you are sitting in God's house and you are here to hear Him. You wash your mind of trivial matters, you meditate on your heart and where it stands with Him....you maybe have a moment of prayer...fellowship with God Almighty.... A man of God stands and with all joking aside, reads to you from the Bread of Life...reads words that all eternity hinge upon...it is Holy. You are not immersed in worldy thoughts...but concentrate on Him. A gentle hymn is sung ...your heart soars with rapture, or quakes in conviction..but either way, it is on thoughts of Him.
Would this give us strength to go out and witness to others...to have a chance to be so filled ourselves that we have it running over to others? In the story of Mary and Martha, Martha was serving. What we all think we must continually do, she was doing. Yet, Jesus wanted Mary to stay at His feet. He knows that we need time with Him...without always doing.......Why do we insist on feeling productive and useful only in busyness?? Why do we assemble ourselves together and forsake Him?? How can it be that some of us can go to church every week and never hear a sermon? Are we made of such superior stuff that we can live daily in a world consumed with sin and give, and give, and serve, and do...and never need a refill of Him??
I feel the need for time with Him. I have such a hard time finding quiet moments. With four children, I rarely find them at home, with church stuff I rarely find it at church..where do I find it....where do I find moments with the most important aspect of my being? I need Him...desperately.
To be continued.....