This is a re-post of a note I published October 22, 2014 on Facebook. I am transferring my notes from Facebook into my Float the River blog.
I did NOT want to go to church this past Sunday. Not at all, not in the least. Being rainy and cool it was the perfect morning to sleep in, relax, drink some coffee, and enjoy some quiet time. Not to mention I was physically hurting, even more than normal. Getting up, getting ready, and getting going seemingly had nothing going for it; but I went and in going I learned just a bit more about Jesus, about faith, and about worship.
It wasn’t (to me, at least!) a very compelling service. The music was good but it didn’t “move” me. The sermon was not to my liking (we had a guest speaker). It was theologically fine and the guy’s heart was right but it just didn’t grab me. He was supposed to preach on Hebrews 8 but I’m not sure he really did other than by way of mention. Part way through it I had to fess up to someone so I sent a text to a good friend (thanks, Todd!) admitting my arrogance because I was distracted by thoughts such as “I could do better”. Yes, I really just said that and yes I repented as I was confessing. Confession is good for the soul, right?
But I am glad I went. It was good to be there. In being there I was able to experience the body of Christ functioning as it should…and be a part of that myself.
I was reminded in the sermon, as non-enjoyable as it was to me, to keep growing, keep pressing forward in faith, in knowledge, in obedience, and trusting Jesus. He didn’t mention 1st Peter but I was reminded that living by faith will not leave me disappointed.
I needed that.
Pastor Carl came and sat down at my table (yes, I have “my” spot!) with me for the sermon. We talked only briefly but he ministered to me by just being “with” me. That meant a TON. His kind presence, words, and smile just being there strengthened me more than I can express.
I was able to speak briefly with Jake, a junior higher I met while teaching in the junior high ministry. I met Ray, an older man with cancer who was alone. We spoke for a couple minutes before he wandered off. I have no idea what significance there was in those moments but by faith I am trusting God used me to encourage those two guys even just a fraction as much as Carl encouraged me.
Being at church was good. I was reminded of Jesus, I was reminded of my own sin and need of forgiveness, I was strengthened by a brother in Christ, and I reached out in faith to a couple of people that God brought my way.
Attending church isn’t about what I want or even about what I give. Church is about the body of Christ being together, submitting to the teaching of God’s word, sharing life with others, and allowing others to share their life with me…and doing so in faith, trusting God for it all, even when everything within me says, “Not today.”
I am so glad I got out of bed. I am so glad I went to church.