Sometimes I don’t like to go to church. Some Sundays I don’t feel like it, some Sundays I don’t like some things at church, and some Sundays I don’t like some people at the church. There, I’ve said it. Know what that makes me? Normal. As normal as any of you on any given Sunday.
Some Sundays, we’re tired or have a headache or want to sink into a cup of coffee with a good book in hand. Sometimes we want to stay home to watch TV or clean the house or go back to bed. Sometimes crawling out of bed to take a shower and get dressed just doesn’t seem to be worth it.
However, we’re adults, and we have to lots of things we don’t want to. We don’t want to go to the doctor or the dentist, but we go anyway. It would be irresponsible not to go. We don’t want to do laundry, but we do it anyway.
It would be irresponsible not to. But going to church? That’s another thing altogether. Why should we have to go if we don’t want to? (It’s not being irresponsible to stay home, is it?)
Besides, we don’t always like what’s happening at church, either. We might not like the order of service, the version of the Bible the pastor uses, the exclusion of our favorite hymns, the style of music, the decibel level of the praise band. And just what where these people thinking when they chose the color of the carpet? Don’t they know it clashes with the padding of the pews? We don’t like it that a certain person goes there, because we really don’t like that certain person. Yes, there are a lot of things going on in churches that we don’t like, so we decide not to go to church. (We’re not being critical, are we?)
As for the people at church, we don’t like to see their grumpy faces or hear their numerous complaints. We know these people, we’ve gossiped with them in the aisle at the grocery store. We know their attitudes about politics and we are in complete disagreement with them. We know the things they do during the week. We know the people at church don’t always act like they should, so we’re not going to church. (We’re not being judgmental, are we?)
Aren’t these things we should think about? Aren’t these the very things that people use as excuses to stay away from church? Aren’t these the things that make it easy for our family and friends to not come to church? What should we say to others when they complain that going to church is too difficult or not worth the effort? What do we say when they point out their behavior is not as bad as some of those who attend church? (I’m not being too personal, am I?)
“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another…” (Hebrews 10:24-25a).