Do you actually like going to worship services? Sure, we all talk about how the sermon could be more or the songs more or , but do you like coming together with other believers to worship our Triune God? And perhaps even more important than if we like it or not, do we see the inherent importance and joy that awaits us when we glorify God together in worship?
Why Do We Have To Go To Church Again?
by Matthew Westerholm
Children ask this question on a semi-regular basis; I know my three boys have given me many opportunities to answer it. As a worship pastor, I am embarrassed to admit that I have found myself facing another service and asking the same question: why again? Did we fail last week, or do it wrong? Was last week’s service not enough?
I have not always had good answers at hand, beyond a Scriptural command not to neglect meeting together (Hebrews 10:25), but over time have drawn on encouragement from some portion of Scripture or a godly writer. Having faced the challenge to frame those encouragements in ways that kids can understand and my own heart will accept, allow me to pass on my best three answers:
We are going to church today because Jesus is alive. You may not remember this, but Jesus rose from the dead on a Sunday morning. As the news spread, all of his friends spent that whole day telling each other the story and talking about what it all meant. They named it “The Lord’s Day.” It was a thrilling way to spend the day, and so they decided to do it again the next week. And every week ever since for two thousand years.
So, think of it like your birthday. The day you were born is so special to the people who love you that we celebrate it every single year. The day that Jesus rose from the dead is so special to the people who love him that we celebrate it every single week.
We are going to church today to practice the gospel. Some words are easier to learn than others. It seems that no one needs to teach us words like “mine” and “no!” Other words are more difficult and take a lot of time to learn—words like “Thank you” and “I’m sorry.” But those words are also important and we need to learn them.
Church is a place where we can practice these words in the most important ways. We can see our sin and what it means, we can feel regret in our hearts and say “I’m sorry, God, for sinning against you.” We can hear his words of forgiveness to us and say “Thank you, Jesus, for saving me.”
And just like we don’t always feel sorry or thankful when we say these words, sometimes our broken hearts don’t feel sorrow for our sin or thankfulness for our Savior. But we gather together to ask the Lord to mend those hearts and to help us feel the truth of what we are saying. And we see the words that used to be natural— “mine” and “no!”—become harder and harder to say.
We are going to church today to learn how to love strange people.
Continue reading this article at The Gospel Coalition→
Why We Shouldn’t Neglect to Meet Together
by Jon Bloom
Have you ever thought of this simply stunning statement by God as a reason why we are to gather together in corporate worship?
It is not good that the man should be alone. (Genesis 2:18)
What’s so incredible about this is that God said it before the fall, when Adam’s heart was undimmed by the dark night of sin and he enjoyed unbroken fellowship with his Creator.
What was not good about Adam’s experience? He had unimpeded communion with God. He had no God-shaped hole in his heart. Wouldn’t this have been truer for Adam than Asaph: “there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you” (Psalm 73:25)? Wouldn’t this have been truer for Adam than Chris Tomlin: “All of you is more than enough for all of me”?
Was God not enough for Adam?
Continue reading this article at Desiring God→