I won’t be posting this for a few days, but here are my thoughts from last Sunday morning.
Our home is located not far from a church that rings its bells 15 minutes prior to the commencement of worship and then again 2 minutes before. We don’t normally have an opportunity to hear the second set clarion because we have used the first to get us in our car to make the five minute drive to the church we previously attended.
However, our decision to be involved in the establishment of Hills Bible Church has meant that we no longer attend our previous church. And our worship services at Hills are currently held Sunday afternoons rather than during the traditional morning time slot. So now we hear both sets of church bells.
Perhaps it’s a Pavlov’s Dog thing. Every time we hear the church bells ring, we have a desire to get in our car and drive to church.
Is that all church is to us – just a conditioned response – just a habit? Is “church’ simply something we’ve done since childhood and we don’t know how else to fill our Sundays?
I think that I am being truthful when I answer no to these questions. For us, church is so much more.
Throughout the New Testament, the writers employed numerous descriptive terms to call our attention to the nature and identity of the church. It is defined by a variety of literal terms and portrayed by one rich analogy after another. The church is likened to salt, light, sheep, a bride, a spiritual temple, a household, members of Christ’s body, branches in the vine, athletes, soldiers, and heavenly lights. Its people are called children of God, adopted sons, priests, servants, bondslaves, stewards, and partners with Christ, just to name a few.
However, perhaps there is an element of habit in our attitude towards church, but is that a bad thing?