Hebrews 10:25 – Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching. (AMP)
We knew we were going to a party on Sunday. The whole week was a time of excited expectancy. We had chosen our best clothes. We knew the food would be tasty and excellent. We would meet old friends and perhaps make new ones. Everyone would be given a gift, and whatever happened, we would make sure we did not arrive late.
Is that a description of the wonderful time of gathering together in a building which we call church? We shall be wearing our best clothes; it will be a time of great feasting upon God's Word. We shall all take home a special blessing or promise from God's Word. Some may make a giant leap forward in faith. Arriving early gives us time to greet one another or to sit quietly in our seat to look over the order of service, or to pray for the ones who will not be able to be at the party because of sickness.
Parties are times for participation. Our participation will be to sing. So we cannot sing as well as some, but if a hymn or chorus is sung from the heart it will always be acceptable. We can all give a gift to the minister by listening attentively to the sermon. The pastor will know if we are with him, not only by our expression, but also by our quick response of a chuckle or a fervent "Amen" to a particular remark.
What a party! But the most wonderful aspect is that we shall attend another party next Sunday. It will never be quite the same, because we will have used our gift during the week, and we shall be a little different. But we will have one common thread connecting every Sunday: it will become more and more enjoyable.
Prayer: Dear Father, as we attend Your house, may we come expecting to be blessed and to be encouraged. We thank You for the wonderful group of people whom we call the family of God, who love and care for each other. May we always be ready to give to the stranger an outstretched hand and a welcome into our midst. We pray in the name of Your Son, Christ Jesus. Amen.