My family spent the last 2 days in Palm Springs. No, we weren't at the Coachella Music Festival taking in Jay-Z and Thom Yorke (way too hip for me), we were simply out there to enjoy a few days by the pool as a family, at Marie's Uncle and Aunt's house who live in the desert. We came home late Saturday night in order to be back for Church on Sunday morning.
As I was driving out our street this morning at 7:30am to go to Church, I drove past a neighbor who was walking out in his robe to grab the Sunday newspaper. As I continued to Church I began thinking about what my neighbor's morning would most likely look like. Sunday paper, warm cup of brewed coffee, a leisurely walk with the dog, maybe a few innings of the Angel game on TV. It all sounded rather glorious to be honest. I found myself harboring some neighborly envy as I neared our Church campus.
Why I Love Going to Church
When I arrived at Church this morning and began to interact with people, my envy quickly faded as I was reminded of why I Love being a part of Church on Sunday mornings. (I am not just saying this because I am a "Pastor" and that is what I am supposed to say, I really mean it!). Here are some reasons I love being a part of a Church and why I love going to Church on Sunday mornings:
#1 - I love sharing in people's joy and celebrating the amazing things God is doing in their lives
-Today a women told me about the impact the previous day's women's retreat had on her
-Today, a High Schooler shared with me the exciting news that she had been accepted into her dream college
-Today, a new believer told me about the amazing platform he got the day before to share his new faith in Jesus
-Today, a man in our Connect Lifelab wept openly as he read John 14 out loud, it was amazingly wonderful and refreshing.
#2 - I love sharing in people's suffering and watching God shower them with grace in their time of need
-Today, a family I love at Church, lost their Grandmother this morning. It was an honor to mourn with them.
-Last night, one of my heroes in the Christian faith and a leader in our Church, Dan O' Brien went to be with Jesus. It was powerful to watch the body of Christ at our Church mourn together over his loss and celebrate the truth that he is with Jesus
-I got to simply place my arm around a friend and encourage and listen to him as he faces the threat of losing his business this month.
#3 - I love joining in with other Christians to sing songs about God and read the Bible together and give of our money through offering.
Honestly, I could give, sing and read all in the comfort of my home, thanks to on-line giving, i-tunes and my study Bible. But I would be missing something. There is something incredibly and mysteriously powerful about singing, reading and giving in a room full of other followers of Jesus. I can't quite justify that you HAVE to do these things within a community, but in my experience, they sure seem more significant within a community of Christians that call themselves a Church.
Driving Home Sunday Afternoon
As I drove home this afternoon, I passed the same neighbor from this morning. He was out doing yard work. I no longer was in envy of his Sunday schedule. In fact, I am going to invite him to Church next Sunday. No newspaper, cup of coffee, dog walk or baseball game can compare.