Have you ever played a musical instrument? Have you ever played one daily and then for some unknown reason, you just stopped? Days turned to weeks turned to months turned to years turned to decades.
I know when Covid first hit, I decided at age 61 to pick the 5-string banjo back up after FORTY years of not touching one. I was never a good player, just a hack, but in 1980 I could knock out a rough but recognizable version of Dueling Banjos, Ballad of Jed Clampett and Cripple Creek. At least non-bluegrass players thought I could play. But then, I stopped improving and did not have the discipline to plow through the difficult next steps, so I just stopped.
I could say the same for many other passions.
While I have maintained a consistent Bible reading schedule with the One Year Bible over the last 30 years, there have been other areas where I stopped something I loved.
Have you ever bought a gym membership and after a strong start, you just stopped going? You didn’t mean to stop but somehow without any cognitive decision, you just stopped going.
I see the same pattern at play in our walk with Jesus and our commitment to weekly corporate worship.
Many of us are elderly, have serious health issues or are a caretaker for a vulnerable parent, and have needed to shelter in place since last March. No guilt. You made a wise decision to worship with us online. You will get your Covid vaccine and will be back in short order.
But there are at least 300 in our church family of 1600 who have not been to Church in person nor participated online for the last 48 weeks. That is more than a “month of Sundays.”
As a shepherd, on a team of shepherds, our heart’s desire is to see no one fall by the spiritual wayside. We know how the Evil One whispers in the ear of Christians that we are doing OK and corporate worship just isn’t that important right now in this special season. That is an old lie and one the Father of Lies has used successfully for millennia. Don’t fall for it. “Right now” often turns into forever.
So Beloved, my encouragement is one we have from the Lord Himself through the writer of Hebrews, “Stay connected to the Body of Christ for the Lord’s Day (corporate worship) and for fellowship and Bible study.”
“Some people have given up the habit of meeting for worship, but we must not do that. We should keep on encouraging each other, especially since you know that the day of the Lord’s coming is getting closer.” – Hebrews 10:25