Ah, Sunday! Sunday means church. On the Sundays when we don’t go to church, it just feels odd. It doesn’t feel right.
We have 2 services at our church on Sundays. The first service is more traditional and the second is more contemporary with a praise band and praise team singers to lead the worship. I was one of the praise team singers today. It is kind of fun standing up front of everyone, because I get to scope out the crowd and see who as at church. New faces. Old faces. Today, right across from where I was standing, was a family with three children who had recently returned to our church after visiting others in the area. Yeah. It was good to see them back.
Being up front during worship as a leader means you have to sit still and pay attention during the sermon. So I really listened today. Pastor Bush was talking about Reformation. Basically, good ‘ole Martin Luther decided that the common person shouldn’t have to talk to God through a priest nor ‘buy’ his way into heaven with ‘indulgences.’ Yay Martin Luther!
Pastor went on to talk about how our ‘church’ was more than just a building. The real ‘church’ is US! We are the church. Sure we meet together at church on Sundays to worship. That’s a good thing. God wants His people to gather together. Together we can learn and grow and enjoy the fellowship of fellow believers. Sadly, I think many people pick a church like choosing a country club. They want to know which club will best serve their own personal needs. Right now, I think our attendance may be down a little bit because of our building program. Our church currently stands alone with no other facilities attached – no classrooms, nurseries, or bathrooms. You have to take a long hike across a large parking lot to get to those other places. For the elderly, I understand if attending is too much of a challenge right now. But for others – well they better think of how lucky we actually have it. We aren’t persecuted for our worship, we have heat when it is cold and air conditioning when it is hot. Is a little walk across the parking lot that big a deal?
We are fortunate to have a huge building to gather in, and are blessed to be going through such a wonderful building program. But when we leave ‘church’ on Sundays, keep in mind that we, the church, go to all our various places: home, work, friends homes, and so many other places. Pastor Bush reminded us that we are all disciple of God – that ministry happens where ever we go. Wow! Church is not simply a Sunday club where we make our appearance and pay our dues. It’s a way of life; a commitment.
I remember once having someone describe to me the way a sermon works. When a pastor preaches, his message goes out to the congregation like a large bouncing beach ball. Some Sundays the message doesn’t hit you. But that’s okay because maybe next Sunday it might hit you right in the noggin’. On the Sundays when it doesn’t bounce off of you, be glad that it probably hit the person it was meant to!
Even though I pretty much knew the points that Pastor Bush was preaching about today, they were all good reminders of who we are as Christ followers and how the church as a building is important to us … even more important to remember that WE are the church as well.
You hit me today, Pastor!