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Pastor's Column

The POWER of worshiping TOGETHER

  Have you ever given serious thought as to how you influence other people, or what you might do to help a person or even a community to make some helpful choices for the good of everyone and to glorify God? Well, please consider with me for the next couple of paragraphs. “The POWER of Worshiping TOGETHER”.

  In the world of sports, there is believed to be an advantage to be “the home team” because the crowd of family and friends stirs up enthusiasm, energy, support, and POWER. Or consider our high school football team heading off to a tournament and seeing the sides of the road lined with parents and home town supporters for a mile out of town. That visible sign of “togetherness” increases the enthusiasm, energy, support, and POWER of the team as they face their opponent.  From a negative illustration, just think about the riot on the capital on last January 6.  If that crowd who came to protest had looked around and saw only a dozen people there, do you think the chaos that was realized would have ever happened?  Absolutely not! 

  Or contemplate with me a different setting.  Consider how you feel when you are confronted with the danger of facing an enemy all by yourself. You might easily assess the enemy and determine that it is better to retreat than to stand your ground. But if you confront the enemy together with a group of strong willed, enthusiastic, energized supporters, you are more likely to stand up to the enemy and to succeed in overcoming the enemy. 

  The point is simply this. The recent pandemic caused a serious problem totally aside from health issues. In the process of closing down life (schools, work, church services, etc.) it took a toll on us who are all sinful human beings.  Along with some of the protection these actions might have spawned, these same actions quickly became comfortable and almost a habit. After not worshipping together for so long we discovered it is pretty convenient to get up in a little bit more relaxed fashion on a Sunday, make some coffee, and turn on the tube and watch church. And thank God we have that option (when it’s needed).

  But that must not be the “new normal” we fall into. Why? Because … There is POWER in Worshipping TOGETHER! When the crowd that gathers in church is small and sparse, it feels like we are part of a rather unpopular group and doesn’t enthuse me too much. But when the crowd that gathers is large and vibrant it feels like we are part of a winning mission (and indeed WE ARE). Listen to how the writer of the book of Hebrews says it … “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”   

  Your presence in worship inspires me to realize how vitally important my faith is, because you are sitting next to me to rejuvenate your faith every Sunday. See how contagious worshiping “together” is? Sure we are blessed by worshiping through the TV broadcasts because we are feeding on that powerful Word of God.  But we are doubly blessed when we worship together, for then our very presence becomes a tool to inspire others to remain faithful as we travel the journey together. 

  Please, give prayerful consideration to worshiping in church whenever possible.  I need you there and you need me there! Don’t let anything but absolute necessity keep you from being there in person. And may God not only bless us in our worship together, but may God also be blessed by our worship together!


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