Twas the Monday before Christmas and all through the countryside, people were shoveling and grumbling from the fresh winters blanket. I know there are a few people who see the snow falling and get really excited, however, most greet a snowy morning with a grunt. Yesterday, Sunday, morning the weather was even more frightful. As the snow fell my hopes of church attendance numbers were being diminished, proving how deeply the numbers game is ingrained in my system. The phone began to ring, "A we having church?" was the question on the other end of the line.
As I thought about the question, it became a more and more ridiculous question. First, church is not something we have, it is something we are. I know what people mean when they ask the question, are we having our worship gathering, yet the call it church. I wonder if the people who called were really not planning on coming, yet when they called feel like they got credit for the day, with the bad weather and all. As you might be able to tell the idea of canceling a Sunday gathering has never entered my mind.
At the risk of being overly dramatic, what if Jesus would had decided the way of the cross was too dangerous or difficult? What if Jesus would have said, it's too cold out there and I really do not want to leave the comfortable convenience of my home? Our relationship with God, and the church of Christ has become so driven by comfort and joy, that when the times comes for things to require effort and risk we shy away. The church of Jesus Christ is always open, even if the roads are not clear, one might have to get out of bed earlier. We are taught by Jesus, that not even the gates of hell will prevail against the church, the weather doesn't stand a chance.
I will say this, those who did come for worship, experienced the presence of the Lord. The spirit at our gathering was sweet, and connection with God profound. I wonder if our experience of God is in fact sweeter when we have to fight for it?