this isn’t going to be a review of the past week…just some of my thoughts at the end of a pretty good sunday.
- very few times in my life has there been an internal debate about what i would do on a sunday morning.
- i have been completely hardwired, for almost all of the past 40 years, to be with my church family on sunday mornings.
- no questions…no wondering…no opting out…nowhere else to go.
- i suppose the skeptic would say that i’m paid to be there, but i can honestly tell you it has nothing to do with that.
- i’m not sure you really believe me.
- there were two periods of time in my past that i really didn’t want to be at my weekly sunday gatherings.
- the first was during a a two-year period in my mid-thirties when i was deeply hurt and grew disconnected from people. the church i called my family began to change and there was nothing i could do to stop what was happening.
- it was during that time we grew to accept that it was time for us to leave.
- it was also during that time when it began to get harder and harder to get up on sunday mornings.
- hey…just being honest.
- the other time period was about five years later…the circumstances were completely different, but there was one main similarity: our relationships with people began to grow less important. we worked hard to keep that from happening, but when the distance began to grow…so did the natural pull to be with our church family whenever it was time to get together.
- moral of this story? for me, the long-term draw for being together on sunday mornings is about being with friends who call church their family.
- it’s never really been about the preaching or the music or taking communion or giving my offering or earning spiritual brownie point with god. it’s simply about seeing my friends.
- i know we put on a big show (in the best possible way!) and it’s really cool to sing and be inspired and get energized and have our vision expanded and hearts convicted.
- but worship isn’t about a big gathering. worship is about everyday…serving and giving and obeying and offering the best we can to god. that’s worship.
- god doesn’t need a big group of people gathering together to validate his worth. as a matter of fact, he doesn’t need anybody or anything to validate his worth.
- i guess i’ve come to the conclusion that we need the group of people gathering. we simply need each other.
- i don’t mean this to be critical. well, not hypercritical, anyway. i really don’t understand how people can be somewhere else on sundays and not feel like they’ve missed something.
- missing should make you feel disconnected.
- missing should make you feel loss.
- missing should make you feel empty and hungering to be reconnected.
- missing sundays should be the toughest decision you make any week.
- missing sundays should be painful.
- missing sundays should produce agony and disappointment and sadness.
- but not because you are afraid of disappointing god or fear falling out of his favor!! don’t be duped.
- sunday is not god’s day.
- a church building is not god’s house.
- everyday is god’s day.
- your heart is god’s house.
- sunday at the church building is simply our weekly family reunion day. every sunday. i need you. you need me. we all need each other.
so how do we encourage deeper friendships…more meaningful relationships…and a more profound desire to be with each other every week??
how do we do it without inducing guilt and creating a bunch of zealous legalists that are trying to prove to god they are worth saving?
how do we grow a group of people that simply want to be together as much as possible and really miss each other when they are forced to be somewhere else on sunday mornings?
end of rant.