Friday, December 27, 2013

A Silly Statement

Autumn-country-church - Virginia - ForestWander
Have you ever said something and then realized how silly it sounded?  I did the other day.  I said, "Wednesday night church is a time to recharge, to take time out of my busy schedule to worship and learn about God."  It's a pretty common thing to hear on a Wednesday night, and people who say it (including myself) mean well.  But when I thought about what that statement says about me, I decided not to say it any more.

First, it says that I only crack open my Bible at church.  That's not true. I read my Bible every day  because I understand how important Scripture is.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15). 

[S]eeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence (2 Peter 1:3).

The Bible is important, and I can't accurately handle it if I don't study it on a daily basis. Sundays and Wednesdays alone won't cut it.  

Do you only worship God when you attend services?  I hope not!  I worship on a daily basis, both by myself and with others.   Paul talks about ways we worship every day: 

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). 

While I must admit my prayer life could certainly improve, I do talk to God on days that I don't meet with the body Christ.  I also rejoice and give thanks every day as I see the blessings that God has given me.

We can't see worship as an activity we only do at the church building because Paul tells us that our spiritual act of worship is to be a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1).  I'm pretty sure that being a living sacrifice is a full time job.  We may crawl off the altar from time time to time, but we are daily laying down our lives in submission to God's will.  

My foolish Wednesday night statement also implies church attendance is the only godly activity I participate in.  If you've been a reader of this blog long enough, you've learned how we feel about segmenting our lives into the "sacred" and "secular." (A Wasted DayPresence of God).  God is present with us at all times, and every act we do can be dedicated to his service (Colossians 3:17). That busy schedule?  The housework I do is taking care of my family, as I am instructed to do (Titus 2:3-5).  For ladies who work outside the home (whose work is no less important), they can dedicate each and every job to Christ too, and shine his light brightly while they do it.  

So what are Wednesday night services really for?  There is neither command nor example in the Bible for meeting on Wednesday from seven to eight.  The example we have is that early Christians met together a lot!  The Hebrew writer tell us one reason we meet together in general, and mid week services fit in that category. 

[A]nd let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near (Hebrews 10:24-25). 

We meet together to encourage one another, especially to do good works and to love each other.  We learn in Acts 2:42-47 that corporate worship and learning are also important, not because they are the only times we worship or learn, but because it is an extension of what is going on in our lives every day already.

So how can I fix my Wednesday night statement?  "Mid week services are a time to meet together with the body of Christ to encourage one another, learn from one another, and worship God together.  My brothers and sisters help me to offer myself as a living sacrifice every day."  Too wordy?  Perhaps, but at least it's more accurate!

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE(R), Copyright(c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. 

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