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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Church attendance on Easter

It's Easter Again

Easter is upon us once again and many people are getting geared up to attend
church one of the two times they attend every year, Christmas and Easter.
The Easter clothes are on sale at all of the stores and people are buying
their hams for that special Easter family gathering. Statistics tell us that
Easter Sunday is the highest day for church attendance of the whole year.

Being a minister, I have to admit that it bothers me that many folks only
feel the need to attend a worship service once or twice a year. I know that
lots of folks feel they have a good reason for that choice. I have heard
many stories that reflect poorly on churches and therefore upon God. These
stories often relate how people have been hurt or badly treated by people
who claim to be representing God and His church. Yet others just say that
they don't leave feeling very "spiritually uplifted" after attending their
church.

Thankfully not everyone is turned away from God or his church by bad
experiences. But sometimes folks are crippled emotionally or spiritually in
regard to anything relating to church by the things which those who call
themselves Christians sometimes do.

I wish I could apologize to everyone who had been hurt or turned off for not
only my failings, but for the failings for all Christians, but I can't. I'm
not sure that would make much difference to many. But understand each
Christian and each church is still just people with the same failings and
weaknesses as you.

Maybe now would be a good time to take a close look at why (or why not) you
attend the meetings of your church. I firmly believe that the reason we come
together is not to be entertained. Neither should we come together as a
church just out of the force of habit, to set in our "regular seat". We
shouldn't be coming together out of sense of obligation or guilt or a fear
of punishment. The reason we come together Easter Sunday as well as any
other time is to partake of the Lord's Supper, to offer praises and worship
to our God. What too many fail to understand is that we don't come together
for us, we come together for God! The purpose of our coming together is not
so that we can get some special spiritual glow or feeling (though that may
be an effect of being in the presence of God). (Acts 20:7)

So, why do some folks only come to church on Easter and no other time?
Perhaps they have just gotten a little mixed up on why they are supposed to
be there in the first place! The real challenge for us today is to get
beyond the advertising blitz that tries to tell everyone this is one special
day out of the year and realize that every first day of the week (Sunday) is
special!

If you are planning on being in church on Sunday, why not make that a new
time of commitment to be there each week. Not because it is something you
are told to do, but because you get to be in the presence of God and offer
thanks and worship to him!

Russ Lawson

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