Gina Caswell Kelly
Let’s talk about the church. My church. Your church. The church. Why do we go to church? For me, it is about gathering with other Christians and hearing God speak. It is about sitting or standing in that auditorium and singing praise to God. It is about seeing each other. It is about listening to what God is saying through His servant. It is about trying to be a better version of me. It is about trying hard to get closer to being the person God created me to be. It is about growing and becoming. It is about being transformed. Is that enough? There is more!
Going to church has never been about checking some imaginary box of things to do in your head. It is about wanting to learn and grow. Going to church has never been about being seen in the building. It is about seeing God in His house. Going to church is not about the music. It is about that music that is made in your heart that is pleasing to God when He sees you in His house. It is not even about the preacher or youth minister and what they might or might not say or do from the pulpit. It is about you wanting to learn from His servants what He wants you to hear.
I have said over and over to people who are complaining about a preacher they don’t like to listen to. If you go to church to hear from God, you WILL hear from God, either in spite of or because of the one who brings the message. We go to church to hear from God, not any particular preacher. The same is true with the music. Maybe you are not crazy about the music. Fine, then let God have the lead in your heart and listen to His music. Don’t like the leader? Just close your eyes and listen to the words and let those words sink deep into your heart.
There are good and bad sides to this pandemic situation. We learned that we don’t have to necessarily all be gathered together under the same roof to hear God’s Word as a church body. That is good. The bad side? Lots of folks, myself included, got way too comfortable sitting back on the couch and turning on the computer to watch and listen to the service. Let me put in my disclaimer here. I know there are still some for whom it is not safe to be out. If you do not feel safe being out, then by no means, get out. I am speaking primarily to those who have gotten pretty comfortable feeling like they are getting the full meal deal from their couch! Hear my words, “You are missing so much!”
There is such a joy that comes with gathering with God’s people in His house. There is a replenishing of spirit that takes place. I will be honest with you. During the early stages of church at home, I would get my note taking book and my Bible and I would stay in front of my computer screen, singing every word and listening intently to our preacher. Then a few weeks in, I caught myself in the kitchen doing dishes while I listened. Or putting in a load of laundry. Was I at church? No sir. I was not at church. I was not worshipping my God. I was checking a box. Was this the right thing to do? Absolutely not!
I was so excited when our church finally opened its doors. I was excited when Sunday School started back. I was excited to get back into God’s house with His people. I was excited to be in that sanctuary once again and feel His presence there.
As Paul said in Hebrews, “Do not forsake the gathering of ourselves together. But instead encourage one another and so much more, for the day is approaching.” That day is approaching. Some believe the signs are in place for His return to happen very soon. Maybe so. But, trust me when I say this, He. Will. Return. Of this, there is no doubt.
Get yourself back in your place of worship on Sunday, if you can. If you don’t have a church, find one. Ask me! I will show you some great places to worship.
Gathering together with God’s people in God’s house will always make a difference!