This Sunday’s storm, along with our cancellation of the morning worship service, gave me an interesting insight into myself, my family, and the need to worship together.
I take it for granted that every Sunday I’ll be in church. My whole life I’ve been in church Sunday after Sunday. Looking back at least as far as the past ten years, I can only think of one Sunday on which I missed church when church was on. It’s safe to say that Sunday worship is part of my life’s routine. Maybe the central part of my life’s routine.
But then there are those rare times—this Sunday, and once last winter—when the weather doesn’t allow us to get to church on Sunday morning. And in the moment that decision is made, a change takes place. What was preparing to be a day centred by worshiping God and being around his people in joyful fellowship suddenly becomes…just another day.
Just another day.
Now maybe there are people who can truly worship God at every moment, whose hearts are attuned to his ways, and whose souls constantly rejoice in the wonder of God with us and the great gift of Jesus’ death and resurrection. In fact, I’m sure very little of my own life doesn’t have all of that as at least the background. But I also know that I can forget or neglect to take the time to thank God in a way appropriate to his wonderful love.
I need to be called to worship.
Sunday morning we tried to have a little time of worship together as a family. We probably ought to be doing this daily on a small scale in a family devotion (we do nightly Bible stories, but they can be more about entertainment than worship, to be honest). As we tried to gather together in our living room for 15 or 20 minutes of “church,” we found it tricky. One child didn’t want anything to do with it at first. The awkwardness of singing songs to God and not just each other was noticeable. The slightly wooden formality of the whole thing was palpable.
But the alternative wouldn’t have been informality. The alternative would have been TV.
There’s something about weekly worship that gives rhythm to our week. It calls us to attend to God’s word together carefully, not simply in the haphazard ways we might attend to it during the week.
It calls us to stop. And in our stopping it calls us to give praise to the God who loves us, made us, and saves us.
Our morning worship time ended up going okay after all. The kids smiled, participated and–I hope–grew in thankfulness toward God. But we missed our church family. We missed the fullness of what we take for granted every Sunday.
On the plus side, I can’t wait for next Sunday morning.