As I kid, I was part of a church family, meaning, my family was at church a lot. Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, Wednesday nights and any other reason we might find to go to church. Sometimes the church had an evangelist show up and we’d have services every night for weeks. I’m not kidding, weeks of going to church every single night.
Now, it seems that the world has a tough time making it to church once every other week or month or year. I’ve heard the argument that we don’t need church, that a relationship with God is between a man or woman and God. I’ve even bought into that.
But God doesn’t appear to buy into that in his word. As we go back into the bible, God called the people of Israel to worship together. He inspired music that wasn’t just sung out by one voice by some guy strumming a harp in the garden all alone. The Psalms were sung by groups of people, worshiping God together.
In Revelation, God spoke to John, not about John but about the church.
Why is it that now, to so many, the church is unnecessary to their spirituality?
“Homo incurvatus in se”.
I’d never heard this till recently, I guess because I’ve never bothered to study about Martin Luther, a great reformer of the church.
What it means is “mankind curving in upon itself”. Picture the fetal position, Mankind has a tendency to draw up into a spiritual fetal position where the view is mostly of knees and feet. It is a small world and in that position, there is submission to whatever comes along. There is no charging forward, no retreat, merely a ball of a man or woman ready to be kicked around by life.
I’ve seen this in me. I’ve been the ball rolled around like a toy by those that choose to do so. This is not what God created me for. On my own, I can focus on God occasionally and stand up straight and gaze into grace. But I’m far more likely not to.
When I surround myself with others standing against the curve, looking into something greater than themselves and pointing their eyes toward the source of all hope, the source of all strength, the source of all life, I want to stand. I have to stand. I have to stretch my muscles and feel the bend leave my spine. I want to walk. I want to run. I want to mount up with wings as eagles.
The tough thing is that I have a hard time recognizing when I have allowed myself to curve in on myself. It is a good thing to regularly schedule a spiritual chiropractic appointment to line my back up and get me back on my feet. This is one thing corporate worship (getting out of bed and going to church and participating in what goes on there) does in my life.
Colossians 3:16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.
Worshiping together does much more than just help me fight the curve. It helps others fight the curve. It moves us from a point of spiritual idleness into action. Once we begin to move, the options are limitless. God gets exciting and new, even adventurous.