There is such a sweet fellowship at church. It can come from no other place. The gathering together of the saints on Sundays is a sweet, beautiful event where people can talk about their struggles, joys, victories, witnessing encounters, home life, prayers, hopes and dreams. All because we have been united by Christ to God through His blood. This is an extremely important event filled with many joys. All manner of races, people groups and skin colours attend, yet they’re all united under the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
But sometimes it’s hard to get to. In fact, if you have children… small children… it’s one of the most tiring days of the week purely because of the beforehand work that goes into getting to a service. That being said, it’s always worth it. Sometimes the best services attended have been those where we have struggled ten fold to get the kids dressed, washed, cleaned, ready for the car (then the seat belt exercise) to get to church. After this ordeal and ten tantrums we arrive tired, drained, filled with emotion and ready to sit down with our arms folded. But as soon as we shake hands with our pastors kids, the families that attend and our pastor – this all falls by the wayside to Christian fellowship and love.
I’ve had some of the best conversations with our pastor about doctrine, family, theology, church practices and evangelism over a coffee after these long, hard mornings of getting ready. And they stick in my mind for a long time afterwards, and always give me something to think about, some encouragement, some training or some sharpening.
So this is why I believe the Bible stresses not to “forsake the gathering together of yourselves:
“Let us hold resolutely to the hope we confess, for He who promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how to spur one another on to love and good deeds. 25Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have made a habit, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:23-25
This powerful gathering that surpasses all others is that it is done in reverence of God’s redeeming work, and His Holy Word as it’s preached faithfully:
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3:16
This is why we sing reverent songs to God, not out of performance to please Him but out of heartfelt gratitude for having Him save us from death, hell and the eternal consequences of sin. We are redeemed people, bought with the precious blood of Jesus. This is reason to celebrate in a way that honours God. Not in a chaotic, irreverent flashy show of pure emotion, but a deeply joyous, humble, meaningful celebration. This is why church is so, so good – even when the morning has been the absolute worst.