Sunday, November 09, 2008

I DO go to Church

I truly feel sorry for the people who only go to church to attend a funeral. They would have a certain emotional reaction to the word "church." How can they know the true worship experience, the ups the downs, the family of God feeling, the worship-in-spite-of-difficulties, and the worship-because-of-blessings?

Many years ago (could it really be 36 years ago?) I heard a stewardship sermon that talked about making a commitment to attend worship. The idea wasn't to wake up on Sunday and THEN decide, should I go to church today? But rather, to decide that attending a worship service will be what I do on Sunday. I have honored that commitment most of the time. [I'm not consistent about going when I'm away from home.] I have honored that during a bad time when I didn't pray for 6 months. I thought that I would be a bad example to my children if I bailed out on church just because I had a health problem that was messing with me emotionally.

Sometimes on Saturday, I have said, "I don't want to go to church tomorrow." My husband will say, "You don't have to go." But on Sunday morning, I still get up and go. I've found that usually on those Sundays, something speaks to me most personally, so I'm glad to be there.

This post was first a comment on Dr. John's Fortress, 11/09/2008


  1. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the election, voting and race. Thanks for visiting me as well.
    Happy Monday!

  2. Your husband hits the nail on the head: you don't HAVE to go! You get to go.

    When I first went back to church at age 23 i realized no one was going to hold me feet to the fire. Going was my choice. It became about lifestyle. Even if I stayed out too late drinking with my friends I still would get up and go, until it finally got to the point that I just gave up drinking with my friends at all hours of the night so I could go and feel refreshed.

    Funny how a little commitment can just really change life.

  3. Glad my post inspired your comment.

  4. this was awesome! Now that I go because -- well -- I'm the pastor, I miss a little that sense of "I don't have to, I get to." And I have felt, like you, that when I went even on bad days, I found something there. or something found me.

  5. PS,
    Thank you for your reflections. As a pastor, it is good for me to be reminded that the people in the pews have chosen to be there - or have been called by God and accepted the call.
    I, too, find that I am often surprised by grace at worship. The sermon usually speaks to me something I need to hear and often surprises me (even though I wrote it). The hymns and prayers touch my heart. And, at least once each Sunday, someone reminds me why I became a pastor - often it is seeing a family or person return to church, or a child excited about singing in Sunday School, etc.


And what do you think?