With the approaching holiday weekend, we are preparing for the arrival of family for the weekend. Since Chandra and family have moved we look forward to their visits, catching up (even though we talk daily!) and playing with the grands. Michael can't wait for Kailyn to arrive, she is his best friend. Rachel and family will join us, and this particular weekend we will share in the dedication of our grandson, Levi.
We will also be blessed to have friends over on Monday for a day of cooking out, playing games, and relaxing. We will be "gathering " everyone in one place and enjoying fellowship. As I thought of the word gathering, I was reminded that Christ is gathering his people, even as we speak.
There are those who feel that they just "don't need church". They don't feel that they need or want to conform to the "rules" set forth in a congregational setting. I have heard it said from more than one person that they can feel just as close to God in a tree stand in the woods as they can in a church on Sunday morning. Or in a boat on the lake... or on their couch in front of the TV... just fill in the blank...
Yet in all of those instances they are missing out on something very important... the gathering. The gathering together of a group of people who share one common factor... their love for the Lord and their desire to praise him as one. I can't help but wonder what the final gathering will be like... when Jesus steps out of the clouds and takes his children into heaven... and I often wonder if those same people who have opted out of church for the woods, (or whatever destination filled the blank!) will be filled with excitement over what is to come... or if they will look back longingly at their tree stand wishing to "worship God on their own terms"?
I look forward to our "gatherings" each Sunday at GCC... I love to sing praises to the Savior... I love to hear God's message sent through Chad... and I love the fellowship we enjoy with those we meet each week.
Am I conforming?? I don't think so... I like to think of it as embracing.... and preparing for the greatest "gathering" of all!