Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday morning struggles

Nearly every Sunday, I find myself hustling my whiny children into our vehicle for church and  thinking, "Gah! why am I doing this? It would be so much easier to stay home, make waffles and stay in our pj's till noon".
As you know, it takes a decent amount of energy and patience to get three small humans dressed, fed, and out of the house without incurring a meltdown or revolt of some sort.  My children LOVE being at home.  I literally have to drag them  out of the house regardless of the destination. Thankfully we don't have too many extracurricular activities, otherwise, I would also be having regular meltdowns.

Sunday mornings, however, are non-negotiable.  Unless someone is seriously ill, or has head lice, we go.  I arrive haggard, irritated, undernourished and wishing I had remembered to guzzle down the remainder of my earl grey tea, but then the music begins, and voices begin to rise in unison and before I know it, I am carried away like a cyclist experiencing drafting for the first time. 
I don't NEED church to worship, to connect with my heavenly father, or for Biblical instruction. I can easily satisfy those needs at home with my iPod, praying, and listening to a podcast by my favorite preacher, Judah Smith. I cannot, however, replicate the awesomeness of corporate worship.  There is something so beautiful and powerful about acknowledging and worshiping Jesus alongside other believers. For someone who has never experienced it before, I would liken it to that moment in a concert when the artist turns the microphone over to the audience and the auditorium is filled with thousands of voices singing in excited unison. Corporate worship is a like that, in the sense that it brings people together to enjoy music and sing, but instead of simply listening to an artist that you love or singing along with their lyrics, you are having a conversation with the ONE you love and someone who LOVES you! That person being the one who created you and knows you more intimately that you know yourself.

I just LOVE that and I love watching it happen in the lives of the people around me on Sunday morning. Seeing, friends, acquaintances and perfect strangers experiencing intimacy with Jesus individually as well as corporately, is otherworldly.

I also love listening to my children hum worship songs on the way home and tell me what they learned in Sunday school. I love how it sets the tone of our day and our week. I love being reminded that a church is not a building full of people who have it all together, but instead, a place for broken people, who are aware of their brokenness and are not afraid to surrender their lives to Jesus on a regular basis. A church is a body of believers that long to be MORE like Jesus, but know that they cannot do it on their own.

Sometimes I wonder why I make an attempt to go to church on those mornings when I miss both the worship and the sermon and instead, find myself hanging out in the nursery with a room full of momma's and fussy babies. If my spiritual walk/life/growth was dependent on listening to sermons on Sunday, I would be pretty shriveled up, as Levi refuses to let me leave him in the nursery and is  too loud and disruptive to keep him in the service. But, then I have a conversation with someone that uplifts and encourages me or I find myself listening to someone pour out their heart and have the opportunity to encourage them. Regardless of what "church" looks like on any given Sunday, I always leave encouraged and renewed and thankful I made the effort to go.


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