Encouragement to Every Sunday Divine Service Attendance!
Have you noticed that church attendance for many has really declined? When I attended catechism classes, my pastor, made it clear that I was to attend church every Sunday if possible. The expectation of my fellow congregants was that I would attend church every Sunday. The idea of coming to church only twice a month or heaven forbid, only once a month was certainly frowned upon.
I knew that Christian faithfulness entailed coming to church Sunday after Sunday.
Today, the expectation of every Sunday church attendance seems to have fallen away. One seems to be considered a regular member if one attends church at least twice a month. Some people reason that they love Jesus, they just don’t love going to church every Sunday.
I would counter that every Sunday church attendance isn’t so much about your loving Jesus as it is about Jesus loving you! Christ wants to share His blessings with you through the Means of Grace that He has established for you. Namely through the preaching and teaching of the Holy Word of God and the reception of His body and blood in the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
Divine Service attendance is a blessing for you because at Divine Service God speaks to you through the preaching of His Word. Insofar as your pastor rightly proclaims the Word of God, you are hearing God! And in the sacrament of Holy Communion, you truly receive Christ’s real body and blood in, with and under the bread and wine. In the Divine Service, it is a blessing to confess your sins and receive the pronouncement of the forgiveness of your sins. This is a tremendous blessing. Who doesn’t need his or her sins forgiven? Who doesn’t need the assurance that Jesus Christ has paid the price of his or her sins? Who doesn’t need the encouragement to go forth in the week knowing that God is blessing them, caring for them and watching over them? All of these things one receives through the preaching and teaching of the Word of God!
Finally, remember the words of the writer of the book of Hebrews who states: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25, ESV)
Christians are to encourage one another to attend church because of the great benefits that one receives in going to church! God does bless you as you attend church every Sunday and you are a blessing to others as you encourage them to be faithful in every Sunday church attendance as well!
Rev. Geoffrey L. Robinson