A friend recently sent me an email entitled, "Why Go toChurch?" (author unknown). It read:

"A churchgoer wrote a letter to the editor of the local newspaperand complained that it made no sense to go to churchevery Sunday. 'I've gone to church for 30 years now,' he wrote, 'and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons.But for the life of me I can't remember a single one of them.So I think I'm wasting my time and the preachers are wastingtheirs by giving sermons at all.'

"This started a real controversy in the 'Letters to the Editor'column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeksuntil someone wrote this clincher: 'I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. Butfor the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a singleone of those meals. But I do know this: They all nourished meand gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wifehad not given me those meals, I would be physically dead today.Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I wouldbe spiritually dead today!'"

Thank God for our physical and spiritual nourishment. And thankGod that we have a church to call our spiritual home week afterweek, year after year.

Many, however, have been traveling from house to house, eatingmeals in dining room after dining room, not staying with anyone family for more than a month or a season. There are far toomany vagabond disciples out there today, and even though they'veenjoyed the "meals" offered in the local church, they have goneto more dining tables than one can count.

We don't condone such activity among families because it isimportant to remain committed to and share life with our ownfamily-in the good and in the hard times of life. So it is withinthe Christian community. The longer we stay in one church family,the more we give and receive from that family.

Membership, commitment, solidarity, longevity, partnership-all these values within church life are important priorities. Theyaffect our shared life in ministry and in the context of worship.You want an enhanced experience in worship? Then become aregularly committed member of the family. Don't run from houseto house, dining room to dining room for your spiritual nourishment.Make a commitment to the family of God and stick withthat commitment over the long haul. If it becomes necessary foryou to leave one church for another, do so with dignity befittingof Christ himself.

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