19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 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.
Summer is quickly approaching and we have all waited for this long winter to be over so we can enjoy all the good things warm weather brings. Outdoor activities, biking (or riding the scooter), hiking, picnicking, sports and leisure just to name a few activities that seem to compete for our time. Our time is limited and like most of us, we prioritize, or better, we make time for what we want to make time for.
In the above verses, as well as others, we can draw out some principles that should help us determine our motives and our decisions to “miss church”. First, we need to understand that missing church hurts the body. We are one body in Christ, right? When we miss church, we fail to edify and encourage each other. We miss our “spiritual meal” that quite frankly many of us only get once a week. Our faith, over time becomes weak when we fail to hear Gods word proclaimed. And if all this was not enough, we are commanded to assemble together.
Eric Liddell was an Olympic athlete in the early 1900’s. Eric refused to run races on Sundays even during the Olympics. He believed so strongly in the Sabbath that he would not allow himself to participate even on Olympic stage. He was born to missionary parents who taught him the importance of the Sabbath and he himself became a missionary to China for almost 20 years. When asked of his decision to leave fame and glory his reply “It's natural for a chap to think over all that sometimes, but I'm glad I'm at the work I'm engaged in now. A fellow's life counts for far more at this than the other."
Eric Liddell’s testimony should be an eye opener for all of us. This man had a seat at the highest of athletic honors and he did not let that get in the way of his faith. We all know there will be times when we will miss church and many times, it can’t be helped. Most times however are self-inflicted reasons we miss. If we are not careful, our reasons to “miss church” will become easier and before you know it, church has become a byproduct of our life and no longer a staple.
Pray that God will give us all the desire to meet together as a body to love and edify one another.