"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of the bread and to prayer."
Christ never stated we needed to attend church while he was among us. But he did mention the need to gather in prayer. "For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them." (Matthew 18:20) Churches sprung up as meeting grounds so that we can gather together as it was written.
This Easter reminds me the importance of being together. A time for new life ensues, rekindling relationships that have soured and making a special dinner for those we love. Most of us are prompted to attend morning services setting the day in motion for spiritual renewal. I am certain this was all part of God's initial plan when he sent his only begotten son. So that later he can watch us enjoy the fruits of his labor.
Where is your church family? I know I find great comfort finding and meeting up with people who are associated with my own religion. There is something binding, a deep trust that solidifies us when I do. We have common ground; we can share holy traditions asking each other what each other's plans are for the spiritual holidays.
I recently ran into a fellow church goer at my doctor's office. We chatted subconsciously organizing our weekend Easter festivities and plans. She planned on meeting some friends for breakfast before church. I, on the other hand, had plans for a scrumptious Easter brunch at home. Just that brief encounter made my heart leap and refreshed my spirit knowing someone else is glorifying the same occasion.
The balance of prayer, worship, fellowship, and study is essential for the true believer. Most importantly, we need the encouragement and support of other Christians. It reminds us we are not alone. It reminds us that others feel that great love towards the Lord,too. Other Christians stimulate our faith and strengthen us during those times we feel discouraged. Most importantly, they hold us accountable.
Some of you may feel praying alone is adequate, and that there is no need to attend a house of worship. "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrew 10:25) If the early Christians needed each other's teaching and encouragement, then you know we do now in a world filled with chaos and uncertainty.
And what about your children? Are you offering them the security of knowing others of the same beliefs? Or, are you casting luck to the wind hoping your good will and mentoring will be sufficient? Take time this season to find another home if you don't have one already. Nothing will lift you more spiritually then the right house of worship!