I was talking with someone yesterday about the importance of going to church. They were not members of the church I pastor, but I felt the Lord had put me in their path for this moment. They proceeded to tell me that they were "good Christians", but hadn't been to church in a long time, and I knew what was coming next...the long list of reasons why they had not, those "invented excuses" that seemed to buy them some peace of mind on Sundays. The same excuses that have been passed down, from generation to generation.
As we finished our conversation and parted ways, I wondered if anyone ever realizes how silly most of those excuses are. That outside of physical limitations, sickness and such, most excuses sound hollow when compared with what Jesus went thru to give us the privilege to worship Him, learn of Him, share our love for Him with others. Then, I wondered if we used something else, as the focus of our excuses, would we see the silliness of our reasoning to abandon our attendance in His house. Let's say we use these same excuses for "not going shopping", do they hold up under that premise:
"Why I Don't Go Shopping: (1) Whenever I go, people ask for money; (2) I shopped all day and only three people said anything to me; (3) The air conditioning is set too low and the elevator music is too loud; (4) Often I have to be there too long; (5) Hey, You don't have to go shopping to be a consumer; (6) My parents forced me to go shopping when I was little; (7) My kids will act up and be a distraction in the store; (8) Shopping is just a crutch for weak people.
Isn't it amazing, the one person who had a real excuse to not go somewhere never used it. Jesus, when praying in the garden, could have just said, "I am not going to the Cross because people aren't worth it and don't deserve it". But, He didn't because He knew where He needed to be, to do the most good for others. Maybe we should contemplate that each Sunday morning and just go because "He is worth it and deserves our presence". Selah!