Going to church on Sunday morning can be a difficult discipline to development when one is not accustomed to or in the habit of doing. There was a time, in the first century, when the Lord’s people enjoyed being together, “So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,”
(Acts 2:46). Over the course of time, it became more difficult because of persecution, with the result that we have the instruction, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some,” (Hebrews 10:25). When I was growing up, we went to church on Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night. Today most churches are down to Sunday morning only with possible youth activities on Wednesday nights. In larger churches, there are nights when small groups meet for prayer and Bible study. Many churches no longer have Sunday School because families are to be together for worship on Sunday and there is no reason to separate the family into age groups etc.
Let us take a moment and think about what we are doing on Sunday morning. We do not have the persecution of the first century church, but we do have a pandemic that is working to keep us apart. Due to modern day technology (for those who know how to use it) Christians can stay at home and watch the service on TV. At our church, no one who has had the COVID virus has been able to trace it back to our church and everyone single one has survived. Nevertheless, we need to stop and ask the question of why bother? Why not just stay at home and watch one or more services on TV, (there are certainly more professional ones being done, than what we do)? What’s the big deal about being together?
There has been a great deal said about how the Church is people not a building, which is true. What is not being said is that the Church is designed to being people together. To be one body as in I Corinthians 12, we need to be together in order to function according our gifts and our place in the body. We cannot edify and build up one another while sitting at home watching on TV (see Ephesians 4:11-16). We have been created to be in community which is why the Bible has so much to say about one another. We are to pray together, study the Scriptures together, sing together, have fellowship together, and bring it all together as we worship together. The virus and any other reason that keeps us apart serves only to the advantage of our adversary, Satan.
Let us think about this from a practical/pragmatic perspective. There is a total of 168 hours in a week. Let us figure 8hrs per day for sleeping, leaves us with 112 hrs.; then another 10hrs per day working for 5 days, leaves us 62hrs; another 3hrs per day eating, leaves us 41 hrs. We have some where in the neighbor of 41 hours (give or take for workaholics), church requires 2hrs for Sunday School and Worship with another hour for travel and visiting and add one hour for longer visits and we have 4 hours. We are looking at committing to 4 hours per week to worship the Lord and to edify one another together. Is that such a great sacrifice?