I love Sunday mornings – always have, always will.
I like the early morning hours every day but there is something about Sunday that – to me – is special, and it is not attending a church service.
At least not always.
I believe that it was my spending time alone on Sunday mornings as a child that opened my eyes to the reality of a creator and God used that time to reveal himself to me even before I ever read a single word in the bible.
I would get up and go outside, walk around our neighborhood, sit along the bank of the ditch that ran behind our house – usually used as a battle ground for dirt clod and potato fights – and just be.
I enjoyed the calm, the quiet and I loved the stillness of the morning.
To this day, I get up earlier on Sundays than other days – especially when I don’t HAVE to get up for work or anything else and commune with God.
I guess I was doing that all along I just didn’t realize it back then.
Don’t get me wrong, I do love the place we choose to worship – commonly, if not mistakenly referred to as church – and I love the people that we’ve gotten to know but besides them there is nothing there so unique that cannot be duplicated at my home, a park, inside my car or any other place I happen to find myself or on ANY given day of the week.
Now, I understand the idea behind services on Sunday morning as it is that day that Christ rose from the grave – and THAT is not in question. But I challenge the idea that I must always GO to a building to accomplish the praise and worship portion of my responsibility to God.
And “yes” I consider it a responsibility. After all, he not only created me but provided a path for me to be reconciled to Him.
I am also not arguing against an organized service or a paid clergy – I believe there is enough scriptural evidence to support both and I fully believe that scripture commands us to join together as a group of believers to offer our praise and worship to God Almighty but I have yet to see wher he provided a schedule or say “Thou Shalt attend all services.”
I believe that both the building – though not always as elaborate as they can get – and the paid employees are necessary as means to achieve God’s plan of spreading His message.
However, the folks that work at the building for worship – are in NO WAY better than you or me in God’s eyes. They have the exact same access to God that every single person ever born or to be born has – direct and immediate.
In most cases, they have been educated in scripture, trained to lead worship and teach God’s word.
I can respect and support that.
Though many of the people teaching Sunday school classes to adults, youth and children have no more training or education than someone that only just started to follow Christ and in some cases they have more training and experience than the paid staff.
My issue stems from the fact that – often – worship attendees are made to feel like they are not doing their duty by missing a service on a given Sunday or fail to attend regularly.
I fear this causes new Christ followers – and those that have not begun relationships with Christ – to walk away from the place of worship because they’re not shown the love that they all – that WE all – desperately desire.
The point is that I don’t think God is going to be upset with us if we miss the worship service a Sunday or two – but I fully expect him to ask why we didn’t worship him Monday thought Saturday with the same intensity.