I've got to be honest with you, I don't always want to go to Church. I spent the last two weekends in Michigan at a nice house next to the lake. It was difficult to leave in time to make to back for Church, but I did because I'm the pastor and I have to, and boy... I'm glad I did!
This past Sunday we had the joy of witnessing Caleb and Abby Nafziger dedicate their son, Bennett, to the Lord and commit to model what life in Christ looks like in hopes that as Bennett matures he will one day trust in Christ as his Lord and Savior too. We also had the joy of seeing 6 individuals go public with their faith by being baptized: Renee Findling, Shalyn Findling, Maryn Findling, Jared Mullins, Justin Mullins, and Barb Bott. Each in their own way shared a little bit about what it means for them to love and live for Jesus. We sang songs praising this Jesus and we enjoyed a time of fellowship after the service at our first, but not last, all-church-potluck.
After Sundays' service and potluck I felt very silly for wanting to skip Church and spend another night at the lake. As beautiful as God's creation is and as enjoyable as it is to rest and relax next to the beach, nothing brings more joy to my heart and rest to my soul than spending time with God's people witnessing how He is at work within our local body!
I don't know about you, but the next time I have thoughts about skipping Church or feel less than excited about coming home early to make it to Church, I plan on reminding myself of this past Sunday. Would it have been a sin to skip? No. Would I have lost my salvation if I skipped? No. But I would have lost out. I would have missed a tremendous opportunity to be refreshed and encouraged on a soul level in the only way that gathering with Christ's Church can.