As I was driving to a worship service this morning, I heard a voice in my head asking, “Why are you going to church?”
I should explain that the voice wasn’t coming from someone with horns wearing a red suit and holding a pitchfork, but rather it was the voice of a repeated self-examination that I often do while making the ten minute drive.
I know there are various stock-in-trade answers to that question. To engage in corporate worship our creator and sustainer. To take time apart from the world and work. To honor God’s day. To fellowship with other believers. To partake of Communion. To give. To pray for those in need. To be prayed for.
Those are all good answers.
Ultimately the answer I find myself coming up with lately is:
Because it’s better than not going.
Let me say that (a) I know some will think that sounds lame, and (b) some will think that is simply an answer that is incorporating the collective aspects of the other usual answers, or the absence of experiencing those benefits. But I have to say that in my Christian life, I’ve seen the effect on people of choosing not to attend weekend services, and I’ve known in my own life the emptiness I feel during a week that didn’t start out with a gathered assembly of believers.
As you face the options of various Good Friday and Easter Sunday services in the week ahead, and consider factors like having to attend at a different hour, or facing parking congestion, or maybe just having visitors sit in your seat (!) let me suggest that the other option — staying home — is just not your best choice.
Go. Go expectantly. Ask God to meet you there. Ask what he has for you to hear. Ask him to show you someone to speak to that you can encourage.
And don’t just attend. Be all there; be all in.