Reasons for attending church fall into two categories – good and bad. In the bad column are these: Attending is socially acceptable. God is angry if I don’t. Going merits His favor. I feel better. Such motivations dishonor God, and some are the devil’s lies. In the good column are these: God’s Word commands it. I need Christian fellowship. Others need my encouragement. I can hear God’s Word. I can meet God.
Two stories help clarify the issue. One day the telephone rang in the rector’s office of the Washington church attended by the President. An eager voice said, “Tell me, do you expect the President to be there Sunday?” “That I cannot promise,” the rector said patiently. “But we do expect God, and we fancy it will be incentive enough for a reasonably large attendance.
An old woman with very bad eyes and poor hearing attended church faithfully, even though she could scarcely hear a word spoken. Every Saturday she was given a church bulletin, and she would carefully look up and read the hymns and the Scripture lessons. She told a friend that about all she got out of the service was from the bulletin. The friend responded, “How wonderful to come to church just the same!” The old woman replied, “Well, the psalmist said, ‘The Lord is in His holy temple,’ and I come to meet Him.”
Remember, where two or three born-again believers meet in Jesus’ name, God – in the person of His Son – is always present. Let’s anticipate meeting Him today. – Dennis J. De Haan
O worship the Kind, all-glorious above,
And gratefully sing His power and His love;
Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise. – Grant
Make Sunday your strong day, and the rest of the days will not be weak days.
- November 18, 1984, Our Daily Bread