He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read,
As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up (that’s a custom) meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging (imploring, desiring, inviting) one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Meeting, by the way, in the original meaning (Greek) is episunagoge means “gathering together for worship” i.e. church
I know there are reasons for not going.
We can justify these away as they are often hurtful or personal or offence created reasons. Things like:
“No one talks to me“.
I get that. Personally I struggle with the crowd, but I made myself join in and start up conversations. I reckon that if you are the type of person that thinks that way, then YOU are the type of person that has something to say. Therefore, YOU start the conversation. YOU are obviously the person the church needs to fill that space
“We have little kids“
Awesome! We have four kids and we loved taking them along. It’s truly important that they become a part of the church family too. Hey, If there’s no proper kids program then offer to help set one up. Do it nicely with a servant heart (and yes you may have to take a load of patience with you). I love the chaos we have at times with kids running around in church.
There are many others…..
“I’ve heard it all before”
“They just want my money”
“They’re not my kind of people”
“I don’t need to go to church”
Jesus made it his custom, his habit, to get to church.
Do you think he met those that wanted to challenge him?
Do you think he met rude people?
Do you think he met people that were vastly different to him?
He met people just like you and me.
If we profess to follow him, his ways, and his word, then we need to also follow his customs. And as we read, Paul made it his custom – and his church experiences were at times very unpleasant!
If you think that the church needs changing, then maybe you are the change the church is looking for.
But then again, if you’ve been to a number of churches and still think the church needs changing then maybe, just maybe, it could be you that needs changing? And before you start putting pen to paper to tell me how wrong I am or that “I don’t understand”, please read this last scripture.
Be completely humble and gentle;
bearing with one another in love.
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
See you Sunday (if not before)