February 2 I Tuesday
“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” —Hebrews 10:24-25
During this pandemic, with many churches opting to meet online for health and safety reasons, do we find ourselves struggling with church attendance? Whether virtually or physically, church attendance is not an option. We should seek to come together for the study of God’s Word corporately; it is central to our growth as believers. After God created Adam, He said, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). Throughout the creation account, everything God created was “good.” The only thing God said was “not good” was for man to be alone. Why is that? Because we are created to be in a relationship.
Life inevitably happens with pain and crises settling into our lives. Over the years, what I have noticed is that the Christians who struggle immensely in their personal lives are the ones who are not consistent in their attendance at any one church. Our adversary preys on people who are alone.
On one occasion, famous nineteenth-century English preacher Charles Spurgeon was meeting with a man who was struggling with church attendance. They were having a conversation by a fireplace. As this man shared about his struggles with the local church and things he did not like about the church, Spurgeon took a fireplace poker, reached into the fire and pulled one of the hot coals away from the rest of the burning coal. After about fifteen minutes, Spurgeon directed the man’s attention to the hot coal that he had removed asking, “Do you see the coal?” The man answered, “Yes.” At that time, the coal was no longer burning; it just sat there lifelessly. Spurgeon continued, “For those who separate themselves from church attendance, they are like that lonely coal, dwindling in its flame. When you remove yourself from the fire of others in community, you start to languish in your walk.”
Some people are unwilling to commit themselves to a church because they are looking for the “perfect church.” But as Spurgeon once said, “The day we find the perfect church, it becomes imperfect the moment we join it.” None of us are perfect individuals so why would we expect the church to be perfect too? Where there are people, it will always be messy. This is why Scripture has so many passages about forgiving as well as seeking reconciliation with our brothers and sisters.
If we are not attending a church regularly, would we commit to a church? If we do attend church regularly, is there anyone we know who is left on the wayside? Church attendance and fellowship is not an option. May we not give up in coming together as God’s people.
Prayer: O God, thank You for creating us to be in community with one another. Help me commit to regularly attending a church and bring others alongside me as well. In Jesus’s name.