“Forsaking the Assembly…in the Assembly”Categories: In the Bulletin
You wake up Sunday morning. Grumble at your alarm. You roll and toss about for a couple minutes hitting the snooze button. Toes hit the floor. You rub your eyes. You stumble about the house, going through the motions of your various morning routine step by step. The routine is so very ingrained that it occurs nearly on autopilot. It's thoughtless. It's pre-programmed. That's what makes it a routine. Maybe even a part of your Sunday morning routine is to load up the family and head to Sunday morning services at your local church. If it is not a regular part of your week to assemble with the saints on the first day of the week, barring special circumstance, that's certainly a problem. If it is not a priority of your schedule that on Sunday you will say "We will worship the Lord" then you'll find yourself in direct violation of Hebrews 10:25 which says "Do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together." Your empty space will be noticed. We will hurt for you and we will miss you.
However, perhaps you do find your way to the assembly every Sunday morning. Perhaps even every Sunday and Wednesday night. But...is it possible that the acts of worship have become just another part of your routine? Have they become automatic and thoughtless as rolling out of bed, brushing your teeth, getting dressed or tying your shoes? Is it possible that you are sitting there in the pew Sunday after Wednesday after Sunday, giving a blemished sacrifice to the Lord that is halfhearted, weak and vain? Is it possible to forsake the assembly right there in the middle of it? Is it possible to let one's mind drift during the prayer to thoughts of lunch, of our jobs and of our friends? Is it possible that we do not sing to God with focused minds, and do not make melody in our hearts? Is it possible we hear the preaching of God's word with ears that are not tuned in to spiritual truth? Is it possible that we take the Lord's supper and neglect to focus our minds on Jesus' sacrifice. Certainly it is.
Perhaps this kind of forsaking the assembly is even worse than the brethren that hardly ever or no longer darken the doors of the church building. At least with them we know. At least with them we can try to help. But to those that are physically present when we worship God, and certainly go through all the visible outward motions of heartfelt worship but are mentally and spiritually checked out...why have you forsaken us? We, as a people of God, must not forsake the assembling of the saints in any way. We should be there when we can be…. as a priority. Our schedules must be built around God. Further, we must be diligent to focus in every aspect of our worship so that we can give God the sacrifice that He deserves.
- Cain Atkinson