Early Sunday Morning
I was sitting on a Sunday morning, listening to Holy Spirit led music (Dappy Keys, your You Tube channel is great!)
I was reading the Bible and being still with GOD.
I was enjoying the peace after a weather storm. And I was reflecting on the peace that the LORD brings.
Was I to interrupt that to go to church that morning? I could settle down and watch on line because our church does live streaming as well as in-person meetings. But then I’d miss the fellowship. Or I could just continue dwelling, abiding, with GOD.
John writes, “…. that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” (1John 1:3-4)
As we listen to preaching, and spend time together, and as we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us to the Father and His son Yeshua, as we are all gathered together in church, we share: we enjoy and we have joy!
But sometimes I just want to be still, be with the Father, and reflect upon His word on my own.
We are not called to a rigid gospel of behavioural dictates but we are called to a gospel of love, joy, peace. I can “do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13) and that includes choosing whether to go to church this time or to stay at home to abide with my Lord.
Factors to consider
Hebrews 10:24-26 says, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
If we miss one week at church, are we forsaking the assembling together?
Jesus…. and Paul and all the other writers of the Gospel and New Covenant which we find in the New Testament of the Holy Bible, wrote to guide us, not to bind us.
If we proceed in our journey without fellowship, then we are subject to lots of pitfalls. We are to walk together, strengthened by each other, offering and willing to receive aid, support, love. But we are not yoked with “should”, “ought” and obligations. We who are in Christ are free, and we are not to fear. We are not to be bound… Jesus’ yoke is easy and his burden is light. (Matthew 11:29-30)
If we forsake meeting together, determined to walk on our own, then ultimately we are risking our faith. But if we fear condemnation or fear man’s attitude towards us, or if we reckon we must go else will lose our salvation, then we are going to church for the wrong reasons. Rather, if we prefer — once in a while — to be alone with the GOD of our salvation, then we are not doing wrong.
We are to love GOD and then love one another. Spending time alone with GOD is love. Spending time together is an act of love also.
Freedom of Choice
Church service once a week is the real issue. Why don’t we, as they did in Acts, meet daily, over food: breaking bread together? (Acts 2:42)
What I would really love is this: “So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart” (Acts 2:46)
It isn’t practical in our world, but that’s what I would love.
There is nothing I like more than to spend time with other believers over a meal (or even without a meal) discussing GOD’s Word and sharing love. Nothing.
As for church service, isn’t it wonderful to worship together, to listen to someone share his or her contemplations of the Word through a sermon, and to pray together? I love it!
Decision on this occasion
But this time, I stayed at home, because I felt the LORD’s prompting to do so. ‘Don’t go this week,’ I sensed Him saying to me; ‘just slow down, abide with me, and live.’
This is the freedom we have in Christ Jesus, our Messiah and Lord. This is life. Hallelujah!