For some people showing up for church is part duty and part routine. Guilt sets in when we do not attend because we know that it is something that we are supposed to do; our parents did it, our grandparents did it, and now we continue the tradition. Why break the chain? --It’s true, sometimes we attend for the fellowship, it's where our friends are; and, sometimes in our attendance we receive the only real interpersonal interactions we may have had all week. But, to really understand why you attend is personal —something that you will have to realize on your own.
—However, I can tell you why I attend.
There are times when I completely appreciate the music; the soulful timbres of the Praise Team and their high spiritual crescendos can sometimes move me to tears. There are times when the fellowship is akin to a long awaited family reunion with beautiful attire, good friends, and great food. However, the truth is, I go to learn. I go to hear new ways of learning more about Jesus and to understand how not to repeat the mistakes of the past. I know it sounds corny. It may not even seem real. Yet, if I am learning some new method to combat the Enemy of my soul, I feel empowered. Learning helps me to understand how I can use the ancient texts of the Bible to make it through this modern-day world. It helps me to navigate the highs and lows of daily life. And, it prompts me to discover new ways of helping someone else.
For instance, I sat down with my 13 year-old nephew who was having some issues in school, to explain the Parable of the Talents as found in, Matthew 25:14-30. Instead of using bags of money or gold as the "Talent," I used the modern meaning of the word, Talent. --Something that you are innately gifted in. As we read the parable together, I explained why it was so important to use the talent God has given him to the best of his ability. Since he is gifted in mathematics and spatial design, I urged him to consider architecture or engineering.
In my interpretation of the parable, I did not have to explain the bottom line to him; he was able to make the final determination on his own. —If he didn't use his talent, he would lose his talent. Had I not learned this principle, I could not have taught it to someone else. And, because I felt empowered with The Word, I was able to empower someone else with The Word.
It is really a simple process. In addition to Worship, we attend, so we can learn. We learn, so we can teach. We teach, so others can be saved and empowered by the Word of God to go into all the world. That's our goal! L.
Study Reference: Jude 1:20-25
From:"Empowered To Go." In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions For Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell
photo: New Orleans