In the past two and a half years as the world struggled through the pandemic, church sometimes didn’t really seem like church. It wasn’t much of a church gathering when the only gathering to be done was sitting in front of a tv or computer to watch the online stream. And even when we could gather, there were limits on the number of people who could attend. We could not sing nor could we meet over meals to speak God’s word to each other. How we longed to gather with God’s people once again.
Fast forward to October 2022 and we thank God for the easing of restrictions such that we are now able to freely gather and sing unmasked. How joyous it was to see and hear people sing on the very first Sunday that we could.
Now that Sundays may seem back to normal, it is easy to take it all for granted and lose sight of the importance of gathering with God’s people.
We were made to worship and glorify God, our creator and King – not just individually but corporately because the picture at the end of history is not of separate individuals but a global diverse church worshiping the Lamb who is worthy. Our local church gatherings gives us a glimpse into that glorious future where we will stand with our brothers and sisters in Christ and declare that Jesus is King.
Being in church on a Sunday may not be easy for everyone. Families with young children may struggle with missed naps, upended schedules and utter chaos just trying to get out of the door. Strained relationships within the church may cause some to stay away. Still others struggle with emotional or physical burdens that make it difficult being among those who seem to have it altogether.
And yet, when we, imperfect and broken people, show up on a Sunday, we are saying God is worthy of our time, resources and efforts, because Jesus has redeemed and ransomed us for himself. It is an opportunity to teach our children that God is of utmost importance and develop in them the habit of corporate worship. We encourage each other by our presence and sing God’s truths not only in praise and adoration of God but in encouragement to each other. We listen to God’s word spoken and preached so that our minds may be renewed and our souls refreshed to stand firm against the devil’s lies and live in obedience to God. We serve each other with the gifts that God has given us so that we can move people to King Jesus.
So, come each Sunday and be a part of the church. Come young and old, male and female; those whose hearts are heavy and those whose hearts are light. Come and have a foretaste of the ultimate end of which God made the world – that the ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation shall say, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing!” (Rev 5:12)