Elim Blog Updates

Back to Church – Mark Ottaway

Back to Church

Church Building Photos, Download Free Church Building Stock Photos & HD  Images In our society, September means “Back to School.” I am not sure as a kid that I enjoyed this so much, as I was often just getting back from camping with my family, taking swimming lessons, or playing baseball. Summer always included those things that were unique to summer, and September was a return to “normal life.”

There is also something to be said about getting “Back to School” in our spiritual lives. Not that summer is bad as we may have had time to read a good Christian book or spend a little more relaxing time with Christian friends. Yet the discipline of Bible study and the focus on church life is good for us. The Bible often refers to our need to be reminded of truth on a continual basis, therefore the need to be consistently worshipping together each Sunday in church.

Since New Testament times, the church has met together on Sundays, but of course, God’s people met on the Sabbath in the Old Testament. For Israel, this special day was to delight in God and not do the everyday chores and responsibilities of the week (Is 58:13-14). This reminds us of the value in our thinking about God and confirming our delight in Him. And though we may be involved in church ministry throughout the week and have a daily quiet time, there is something special about having a day set aside to “fill up our depleted souls.” The singing, the sharing, the preaching, and the fellowship remind us that we are not of this world and that we depend completely on God. In other words, we are reminded that we belong to Christ and our commitment to God’s people displays before the world that God is good and worthy of all our praise.

I remember a pastor speaking once of the importance of being in church because “God may only say something once.” I think of so many benefits in my own life that have occurred because of church, and I certainly would not want to have missed those blessings, challenges, and convictions. Life goes by so quickly and all of us can be busy with work, our homes, and families. Yet we have been given the gift of time to be used in such a valuable way—that of being in God’s house, and worshipping and learning His truth. The apostle Paul wrote about the importance of renewing our minds so that we would know His will (Rom 12:2). Sundays help us with this discipline.

So as the world talks about getting “Back to School,” may we talk about getting “Back to Church.” Not that we left over the summer, but it is a new opportunity to take advantage of the gathering of His people to worship such a great God!

“And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”  Heb 10:24-25 (LSB)