“I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance, to the full, till it overflows.” John 10:10
For many people attending church services brings back memories of uncomfortable clothing, rigid behavior, scolding preachers and boring sermons. These are not pleasant memories. They are not experiences that a person looks forward to repeating. Yet, too often the memories were correct, attending church was a drudge.
This experience is not at all what the Bible describes as the worship experience. In the Bible people sang with joy as they approached the Temple, the Psalms are filled with such hymns of joy. Going to Temple, and going to church for early Christians was an exciting, emotional and wonderful experience. It was an event that inspired devotion, changed lives, granted salvation, celebrated heritage, brought families together, crossed generations, strengthen the bonds of community and filled a person’s soul with peace, joy, grace and forgiveness.
How different this description of worship seems from our memory of church.
I think the ancestors had the right idea. Worship should be a time of joy, hope, peace, and personal, inner renewal.
Again, how different this seems from church gloom and doom.
On October 8 at 10 a.m., we will celebrate our annual “Back to Church” Sunday. This is a special day that focuses on the call of everyone to gather to worship God, praise Jesus Christ, experience the gifts of the Holy Spirit and enjoy the company of all believers. It is a time when we hope to recapture the joy and excitement of worship and church attendance. A time to reclaim and experience all that is best about faithful attendance at church. It is my deepest wish that you, we, can experience together that feeling of abundance, joy and transforming love of Jesus Christ.
We will worship together, followed by a time of refreshment and fun entertainment in the community hall.
Joy and Peace,
Rev. Donald M. Pitches