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“I rejoiced with those who said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.'” (Psalm 122:1, NIV)

“Church is so boring.”  Perhaps you’ve been guilty of saying that, I know that I have.  I remember saying that as a teenager, as a young adult, and even as a (now entering) middle-aged adult.  Been there, done that – sorry, no T-shirts for this one.

Thank God that He has helped me get over this horrible misconception.   Attending church is quite a thrill for me now.  I not only find comfort when I’m hurting, but I also find joy in celebrating the many gifts of God, praising my Lord by lifting my voice in song, feeling God’s hand upon my shoulder as we pray together, feeling encouraged by Biblical preaching and teaching that takes the high road of lifting people up instead of the low road of guilt for things gone wrong.  I meet God at church and the added thrill to this experience is that I get to meet God with a whole pack of people who are there for the same reason.

This simply cannot be experienced in front of a TV set.  I am quite fond of several preachers whose ministry is expanded through the magic of television.  However, I feel quite strongly that this can never substitute for the experience of worship that is found in the local church.  On TV, you don’t sing along with the music, you don’t bow your head in prayer (admit it, I peek too), you may or may not have your Bible with you for the study, and you just might be inclined to grab a snack or a ‘necessary’ break during the service.  Most importantly, you don’t experience the fellowship of the other believers all around you.  It’s just you & the TV. 

Mind you, this should serve as a reminder that our ministries to shut-ins might be seen through a new light.  Some folks simply have no choice in the matter, and they need more touches from us, and I say that to myself first! 

But this focus is for those who have the choice.  “Church” is supposed to be a word that describes the people of God.  “Worship” is supposed to be a word that describes an event that has the “church” gathering together to experience a special encounter with God.

The writer of Hebrews offers good advice here.  “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Heb. 10:25, NIV).  Let’s gather together, church, for the purpose of worship.

I’ve heard too many people say that they worship just as well at home because they don’t have to get dressed up and sit with those hypocrites.  My response to that statement has become this; “At least they’re trying!”

It really boils down to attitude.  Like everybody else’s, mine suffers from time to time.  But this I know; I am committed to refuse to let any event, person, conflict or other distraction prevent me from gathering together with my fellow followers of Christ to celebrate His presence in my life.  Even as a minister, I face many things that try to keep me from being interested in ‘church.’  But the joy that comes with my relationship with the Lord overshadows everything that tries to keep me away.  I must have my ‘fix’ of being around God’s people as we share the adventure of Christianity together.

I invite you to church.  I invite you to worship.  I invite you to celebrate all the things God has done and is doing for us all – together!

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