Someone emailed me last week and said he “had church” with his family the previous Sunday when he took the gang down to the beach for a swim. It was “fun” and they “enjoyed each other.” It was “sacred in its own way,” he said.
That may be true, but we have 168 hours in a week to do all the “sacred” snuggling and giggling and swimming we want. We really can’t set aside a small fraction of that allotted 168 for communal worship? Call me crazy but something tells me it isn’t a sincere desire to draw closer to God that explains our decision to sleep in or sunbathe rather than attend services.
Church isn’t a fun thing to do when it happens to strike our fancy. It’s not a bowling alley, for goodness sake. It’s not recreation at all; it’s adoration. It is, as much as we like to pretend otherwise, an actual necessity and obligation of Christian life, and that brings us finally to why all of those Christians throughout history have given up so much to do the thing that we have stopped doing for no reason.
The New Testament knows nothing of the individualized Christianity of the Christian who thinks he doesn’t need church. In Scripture, we are referred to as a flock, a collective “bride” of Christ. We are all limbs and organs in the body of Christ, and we are told that we cannot separate ourselves from the rest of the body. We are “baptized into one body” (1 Cor 12:13) and must participate in it.
So if the fingers and hands and arms are gathering in prayer and devotion to Christ, how can the right leg stay back and mow the lawn? Has he not separated himself from the body? Has he not refused his calling to participate?
—from the blog post Christians, Let’s Be Honest. Our Excuses For Skipping Church Are Lame. by Matt Walsh