Yesterday Isaac had his first horse show. Because the show was scheduled to start at noon, I let everyone sleep in and went to the early service at our church. It felt like the first time in forever that I actually got to “go” to church.
Of course we go to church as a family every Sunday (even through the summer), but because I teach Sunday school, I miss out on most of the service. That means that I haven’t had the opportunity to sit and listen to a sermon, or say the pray the prayers, or have that special time in God’s house since summer ended and school began.
I don’t want to say that I cried through most of the service, but I do know that I really needed that time. To sit there in God’s presence and be renewed.
Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve been to church. Maybe you’ve never been to church. I’ve heard lots of people say that you don’t need to go to church to be a Christian or to believe in God. Heck, I used to be one of those people. I mean life is busy these day, especially when you have kids. There are hockey practices or dance recitals, swimming meets, soccer tournaments…it seems like we are always driving somewhere so it makes sense that you’d want to have one day a week when you don’t have to go anywhere. When you can just relax and be renewed.
But what if I told you that you could find a greater sense of peace leaving your house? That’s the wonder and miracle of God. Once you go to church you don’t actually miss the time. I can’t imagine what I would do on a Sunday morning if I wasn’t in church (unless I’m away for work). What seemed like a Herculean task – finding time to go to church is easy.
And while it’s true you don’t need to go to church to believe in God, I do think you need church to maintain your faith. To keep it strong. I love the imagery our priest uses. Imagine yourself and your faith as a matchstick. It doesn’t take much to blow out that match. But when you go to church you become part of something bigger. You are part of a bonfire, that keeps the fire of your own faith lit. Going to church helps keep God in the forefront of your life, and not pushed to the back-burner as something you will get around too when you have more time.
How many hours a week do we waste watching Netflix? Think of your faith like your fitness. If you want to get in shape you need to make time to exercise, to prepare good meals and eat right. If you are looking to deepen your faith, or change your relationship with God, or just to find more peace in your life…you need to make the same time for God. Church is a couple of hours on a Sunday morning, or a Saturday night, depending on your faith. And much like exercise, you just might find you get more from it than you’re giving up.