Church-goers are as blessed as ever, but at a recent service I attended I was reminded of the many blessings that modern convenience and our human nature has us perhaps taking for granted.
Each week we:
☺ Listen along and sing to live music. How many non-Church-going people can lay claim to being at a live concert every week without door-charge? Not only is the music and singing from our worship teams just a delight, the words of the songs we sing filter through our hearts like pure mountain spring water refreshing our souls.
☺ See a bunch of genuinely smiling faces or smiles or hugs returned commensurate for our presenting mood. Church sees people who live out Paul’s exhortation: “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15 [NRSV])
☺ Hear messages of hope given, and not just from the pastor. At every service we find special segments that add to the devotional value of going to church. Going to church without pen and notebook, or a thinking mind, is to miss the little gems of wisdom on offer every week.
☺ Find out about the cry of the needy as we learn of developments and concerns from mission efforts further afield, both downtown and all around the world. Living in affluence is no excuse for a head-in-the-sand approach to life. God blesses us all the more as we consider the extension of God’s kingdom to all corners of the earth.
☺ Share good-natured laughs, though never at the ridiculing expense of another. The very best humour is always in good nature, even as we might engage in self-directed humour that makes light of our faults in honest ways. It’s these ways we find for sharing more of our true selves, albeit in a ‘format’ that’s entirely palatable for others.
☺ Stand back for a moment and notice the hive of activity, as faithful servants of the church combine to ply their gifts in ways to bless others. This is one of the purposes of maturing in faith; that we all find a role and get busy for God in serving others.
☺ Learn how we might apply our faith out in our community, with our neighbours, work colleagues and friends. After all, what personal good is a faith that doesn’t extend into the interpersonal world?
There are many more positive observations possible. From a moment’s reflection, thankfulness to God for these is easy to reconcile.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.