I flopped on the bed and said, “The kids are fed, and they’re ready for church. Technically three of them are sick with a cold and are probably contagious. But if we sit in the back and leave right after the service, they should be fine.”
My husband replied, “It’s not considerate to take sick kids that are contagious to church. I’ll stay home this time.”
I got up and told the kids to change out of their church clothes. My oldest son was disappointed, but my second son cheered. The other two had no reaction. I went back into the bedroom to tell my husband the reaction of our two older sons, and how disturbed I was by the reaction of our second son, who normally loved to go to church.
“Can I play Wii?” shouted my second son from the next room.
“No,” I said flatly. I told my husband that he needed to talk to our second son, since the Wii was obviously the idolatry that had trumped his desire to go to church.
I said good-bye, and off I went to church. When I came home, my husband told me of the conversation he had with my second son. He made my son ponder how much time he spent in the Word of God compared to how much time he spent on the Wii. This would show him what his true love was. My son stopped and thought about it. He has had a soft heart to God for years now, and as parents, we want to make sure that his heart is never hardened by the things of this world. Apparently he took it to heart.
For me, on the other hand, what keeps me from church? Knowing I have to face people who have hurt me, when I see that they still haven’t repented and probably never will. Knowing that the pastor isn’t perfect. Knowing that if God prompts me to speak up, I will get in trouble for obeying God.
And yet there’s something compelling about being with God’s people. Even with all the flaws, something burns inside of me when another believer is talking to me about the things of God. It’s like the people walking on the road to Emmaus, when they knew that Jesus was with them. The church is the body of Christ, and Christ is there, displayed within each person as they use their spiritual gifts. If I’m an eyeball, I can’t hear and I can’t walk without them. God says I need them. That’s why no matter how I feel, I must return to the beautiful fire, the fire that hurts and purifies, before my ember goes out.
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25 (KJV)Tweet