Every spring my mom would buy flowers, seeds, or bulbs to plant. When dad gave her money to go shop for them, he would tell her, “Now Willie, get a bunch of the same kind. They just look better and grow better if there is a group of them.”
As the beginning of spring nears, I thought of his admonitions as I’ve enjoyed seeing the brave little jonquils sticking up their heads. If you notice, they mostly grow in groups. It doesn’t matter if they are in a pasture or a yard; the group of them makes a glorious bouquet. When you pick just one, it doesn’t seem as healthy or vibrant.
That’s when my mind went to church attendance. Yes, I can and do worship out in nature, but do I really grow and glow there by myself? Not really. To be a beautiful garden in God’s sight, we need to flourish there with other Christians
When you ask people why they don’t or won’t attend church, you get funny and ridiculous answers. I asked one lady to come to church with me. She said with anger, “I’ll never set foot in that church again.”
“May I ask why you feel that way?”
“That pastor’s wife told me to bring the tea for our fellowship, and I don’t want anyone telling me what to do.” That particular pastor and wife had been gone from the church for over twenty years. Since that time, the lady had spiritually withered until she was no longer beautiful or useful to God.
God saw the importance of corporate worship as he gave detailed instructions to his people for building an elaborate temple. (Exodus 26) Jesus joined with others in worship. When he was only twelve and was separated from Mary and Joseph, he was found in the temple discussing scriptures with learned me. (Luke 2: 42-52)
The no-tea lady wasn’t alone in missing the blessing of joining with other believers in a garden for God. Here are some more of ridiculous excuses I found for not attending church:
I gave blood yesterday and they ran out of cookies, so I’m mad at God.
The version of the Bible on the projector and the one I read are different.
My good church T-shirt was dirty.
I hear people preach on Facebook all week.
The pews are so comfortable that they make me want to go to sleep, and I can’t sin in church.
The Pastor preaches from The Message Bible.
The PowerPoint guy can’t keep up.
I already asked Jesus in my heart; what else do you want?
Jesus never went to church.
They never sing my jams during worship.
Pastor be spitting on everyone in the first ten rows.
I’ve already skipped to the end of the Bible, and so I know how it ends.
Pastor always uses me as a bad example.
Church? Are we still doing that?
I have gas.
The parking lot is always full and I have to park at the Korean place across the street.
My date from Saturday night wasn’t a Christian and I didn’t want to force her to go to church.
Pastor lies when he says the grape juice is wine.
I have children.
Oh, it wasn’t daylight savings time?
If these seem to be lame excuses to you, how do you think God must feel about yours? What is important to you? Your time and money reflect this more than your words.
If you aren’t regularly attending church, how ridiculous do you think your excuse sounds to God.
The bible is clear on the importance of corporate worship:
Psalm 35:18King James Version (KJV)
18 I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
March 14, 2017 3 PM Branchwater 763 Medical Center Pkwy, Boaz, AL 35957 First Baptist Boaz WMU and others Speaking on Holy Land Trip and mission trips.
May 19, 2017, 5 PM, Sr. Adult event, Clearbranch Methodist Church, 8051 Glenn Rd., Trussville, Al.
TBA – my new novel Beginnings will be out in several months. I will be doing book signings at that time. (Update – there has been a hitch in publication. My publisher, Tate Publishing, has closed its doors. I’m now working on getting Beginnings with another publisher.)
I will be co-hosting another Holy Land Trip Feb. 12 -22, 2018. Call me for a brochure. Space is limited.
I’m open for 2017 speaking events, women’s retreats, widow retreats, banquets or whatever the occasion might be. Call me at 256-878-5934.