Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day.
Chapter 22, Paragraph 6.
“…so more solemnly in the public Assemblies, which are not carelessly, nor willfully, to be neglected, or forsaken, when God by his word, or providence calls thereunto.”
“All of life is worship.”
You may have heard that phrase before. It is usually spoken by someone chafing at the idea of a structured time of corporate worship. On the surface, it sounds great. After all, God is worshiped without ceasing in heaven, and all of creation is created to bring Him glory. God is always deserving of our worship. That doesn’t stop, so it makes sense that we should worship Him at all times.
However, the problem with making all of life an act of worship is that when you don’t set aside specific time for the explicit worship of God, it becomes difficult to separate actual worship from everyday occurrences. If you’re late to a meeting and have to wolf down a cheeseburger, is that an act of worship? No, it’s not. There has to be a distinction between times of worship and ordinary time. The public assembly of the saints is time specifically set aside for the worship of God.
Most Christians do not have a problem with attending church – when it is convenient for them. Yet when presented with more appealing options, church is quickly dismissed. Attend a wedding the night before so you’re groggy the next day? Sleep in instead of attending church. On vacation on a Sunday? Didn’t research churches in the area, so you don’t go anywhere. Have a chance to attend a sports game/play/whatever? Can’t miss the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity when you can go back to church next week! Such thinking is sadly the norm. Whether she realizes it or not, the Christian that chooses to miss the weekly assembly for the sake of other pleasures, no matter how rarely they occur, demonstrates the truth of Matthew 6:21:
“…for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Worshiping with the body of Christ is to be a more formal occasion than our own private devotions or family worship. It is once again laying aside our conveniences and pleasures for the sake of worshiping God and encouraging our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is submitting ourselves to God’s command to meet together to worship Him. Obey His command, meet with your church for worship, and do not be so quick to forego the assembly.
Questions to Consider
- Do your actions show you treat church attendance as nice, but not necessary?