It's something I've always done …
I’ve always gone to church. And I am now so thankful that my parents dragged me along church meetings every week when I was a kid.
As a child I quite liked being at church. But as I got older I started to think I could be doing better, more exciting, things. I could be out with my friends or just ‘chilling out’. Eventually, I didn't even want to be seen by anyone I knew entering the building where the church met!
The truth is that now, if I have a Sunday when I don’t meet with my church family it feels very empty and unfulfilling.
There are many reasons but one of them is this - because it is a taste of heaven on earth.
Sounds bizarre? It is! But hear me out …
Why I want to be at church
One of the authors of the Bible, when talking to genuine Christians at a Church in Philippi, says this,
‘… our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ …’
One of the ideas that the author has in mind when talking about ‘citizenship being in heaven’, is living in a way that shows you belong somewhere else. I.e. Christians belong in heaven, therefore, they should live in a way that shows that.
This means Christians are deeply caring and will help if you need some help and they will often ask later on how you’re doing.
It also means Christians are really joyful because they have a deep relationship with God and all that that means.
Moreover, Christians are incredibly hopeful because they know God has given them a wonderful and certain future. Even when life is hard, this care, this joy and hope never leave a real Christian.
Christians aren’t perfect, of course. We mess up and are selfish and self-centred. And you may read this as someone who has had a bad experience with Christians and church. That’s really sad and not how it should be.
There is some good news though. God has made a way for even the deepest hurts to be healed and forgiven. It was through his Son, Jesus, who bled and died so that all divisions can be made whole and wounds can be. You can find this healing and forgiveness too.
And, to top it all off, the Christians the people who wait for Jesus to return. It may sound a bit fanciful but everything else said Jesus has come true so I’d place my money, if I were a betting man, on him coming back just like he said he would. And when he does, for those who believe in him, the whole earth will truly be like heaven.
All these things I've described above you find with real, genuine Christians and in the church.
As I look back, I’m so glad my parents got me into the habit of getting up on a Sunday and going to those Sunday morning meetings. To go and be with my church family. To be ready to meet with God and listen to him speak to me through the Bible. To be at the place where I can care for others and be cared for myself. Where I can be taught and helped because of God’s transforming power in my life.
If I ever stop to think about it, I end up thinking ‘why would I not want to be at church?!’
Funnily enough, Belinda Carlisle was correct when she sang ‘Heaven is a Place on Earth’. Sadly, she was looking in the wrong place.
The place to look is the church and if anything I’ve said has interested you, why not head along to one? You could try Grace Church Wakefield. We meet every Sunday at 10.30am at Jubilee Hall on Lupset Estate.
There’ll be no pressure for you to do anything and you can just come along and watch what’s going on. We love to welcome new people. Hopefully we’ll see you soon?