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Monday, December 10, 2012

“Going to Church”

By Robert N. Lambert
 
     For most of us, the idea of “going to church” is as much a part of our lives as eating lunch.  Attending the worship services is something that is important to many people, and they feel as if something is missing if for some reason they miss attending worship.  But there is an important question: Do you enjoy “going to church?”
     There are many people who always look forward to Sunday.  They genuinely enjoy taking advantage of the opportunity to worship God each Lord’s Day.  They arrive ready to worship and leave feeling uplifted or at least challenged to use that week to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and labor in His vineyard.  These people never complain about the weather, the preacher, the temperature in the auditorium, the crying babies, or their own ailments.  They make it a point to arrange their schedules so that nothing will hinder them from being in attendance.  They sing whole-heartedly, listen intently, give generously and commune thoroughly with their Lord and their brethren.
     On the other hand there are those few who are never satisfied with “going to church.”  They seem to find something wrong with everything and everybody.  They seem bored with the services.  They never sing, never give and never spend any time in fellowship with their brothers and sisters in Christ.  One preacher commented that there was a brother who slept through every sermon.  The preacher blamed himself until he realized that this brother was asleep before he had ever said a word.  According to this preacher, “He may not have received much spiritual uplift from the services, but he always left refreshed.”
     The question is: Why are some like the Psalmist who said, “I was glad when they said to me, Let us go into the house of the Lord” (Psalm 122:1), while others are like the people in Malachi’s day who complained, “Behold what a weariness is it!” (Malachi 1:13)? Is it the way in which the services are conducted? That is possible, but my experience has been that that is rarely the problem.  The problem is almost always one of attitude.  Preparation for Sunday worship should begin on Monday and continue until worship time begins.  If we tune our hearts to prepare and provide the Lord with a proper spiritual sacrifice, then each Sunday will be seen as a blessing, yet one more opportunity to praise the God of our salvation.  It is also true that our interest in and appreciation of worship is in direct proportion to how much we have invested in it.  Think what God has invested in us. Let us, then, worship gladly. 

– Robert N. Lambert, The Main Street Harbinger, Milan, Tenn.;via THE SOWER, a weekly publication of the Arthur Church of Christ, Arthur, IL. Ron Bartanen, who serves as minister and editor, may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com 

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