Tuesday, June 09, 2020

"Why I Go to Church"

Acts 28:14c-15 NIV

“And so we came to Rome. The brothers there had heard that we were coming, and they traveled as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. At the sight of these men Paul thanked God and was encouraged.

Fellowship. What a wonderful thing it is. The magic of connection. The bonds of friendship. The comraderie. The sense of unity and single-mindedness. We are a family and the love is flowing. It’s fun. There’s joy. It’s automatic. I see a brother and I am compelled, as if by some God-empowered magnetic pull, to be near him. I have to be with my brothers and sisters to celebrate our common experience in Christ. It’s a measurable and instantaneous. I tingle all over. The original ‘God’s love at first sight.’ When my friends appear, a smile erupts. I can’t help it. Nor would I want to. I’m there. We’re there… together.

It’s unexplainable and undeniable. We all sense it. Our eyes lock. Our bodies relax. We feel safe, welcomed, and loved. We’re home and we know it. Joy wells up from somewhere deep inside and an overwhelming sense of gratitude invades the space surrounding us like an invisible army of angelic warriors, silently affirming the victory that soon shall be ours as we march arm in arm toward our home in heaven. A glorious parade of saints in formation behind Jesus raising His regal scepter and inspiring a following through the generations of saints who will enjoy eternity with each other.

That’s why I go to church. You are the church. At my first sighting of you, I want to celebrate. I thank God. I get encouraged. I wouldn’t miss the chance to be with you.

“At the sight of these men Paul thanked God and was encouraged.”

The caricature of two friends hugging is called "hug-a-friend-day" and used with the permission of photographer Mike Owens of Dallas, Texas, whose photostream is located at http://www.flickr.com/photos/dogsivu/.


Anonymous said...

"At the sight of my friends in Christ, a smile erupts." Yes!! I love it when that happens! I also love it when I meet a Christ follower in a different setting and we discover we are family.

Dave, you are gifted at facilitating fellowship among the family. I enjoy participating in the growing camaraderie in groups you lead.

I also notice that fellowship doesn't happen automatically. I believe that we need to work intentionally at developing fellowship. I have a passion to see that fellowship grow deeper.

davescriven said...

Hi William,

Thanks for your comments. I really love leading small groups. Its a real blessing to see people grow in Christ in a warm, safe, and supportive group of believers. You also have a gift of leadership. I'm glad we are together in ministry.


Anonymous said...

I love all this brotherly love going back and forth. Going to church has never been my strong suit in the past and I must say it didn’t hit me like lighting ether, you know to be there. But as I learn to love Christ fully and now that my life is renewed I find being at church is a gift. A gift, given to us by God and you have to remember that there have been wars over the right just to go to church. We are blessed men.

Danny McGregor