I love standing at the top of the stairs at St. Luke’s Downtown and hearing little feet hurrying to get to the top for children’s Sunday school. On a recent Sunday morning, Jack hurried upstairs and as we greeted one another he exuberantly exclaimed, “I’m SO excited!” I thought perhaps his family was leaving on vacation that day, or maybe it was his birthday, so I asked, “What’s so exciting?” To which he loudly and excitedly replied, his face beaming, “I’m in God’s house!”
Wow! Jack taught me a lesson that day. How do I feel about coming to God’s house? Am I excited, or is my enthusiasm just lukewarm? I’m always excited on Easter and Christmas Eve, or when school begins again and lots of families return from vacation and come back to church. But returning to church after being gone for nearly an entire year has been difficult. I still haven’t seen many of my “regular” kids and families, and I miss them! I also know they’re missing out on so many wonderful things we’re doing with our children, and I desperately want them to hear God’s message.
God has really opened my heart to this fact: there are people who aren’t free to worship as they wish. Church attendance is prohibited in many countries and Christians are even martyred for their faith. I believe we’ve become so accustomed to this freedom that we take it for granted. Being unable to attend church that entire year, truly gave me a hunger to return.
Some will argue that watching online is the same. Yes, one can hear the message, enjoy the music, and even pay a tithe. But when you stay home, you’re not encouraging the rest of us, and I for one really miss seeing my friends and enjoying the fellowship! I realize some are unable to attend for physical reasons and my heart goes out to you. But many are fully capable of attending, but are choosing to worship from afar, or just choosing to do other things.
I realize this begins with me, and it begins with you! We must have a faith that others can see. It must be so strong that others want what we have. It must be so big that others will ask about it and want it for themselves.
How about you? Are you excited to be in God’s house? Have you been there recently? We’re starting the Broadway series, and this would be a great time to jump in! We would love to see you (and a guest or two) and you’d encourage all of us with your presence.
Susan Easttom-Meharg, Director of Family Ministries