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

"A churchgoer wrote a letter to the editor of the local newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every 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 wasting theirs 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 weeks until someone wrote this clincher: 'I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this: They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me those meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!'"

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

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

We don't condone such activity among families because it is important to remain committed to and share life with our own family-in the good and in the hard times of life. So it is within the 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. They affect our shared life in ministry and in the context of worship. You want an enhanced experience in worship? Then become a regularly committed member of the family. Don't run from house to house, dining room to dining room for your spiritual nourishment. Make a commitment to the family of God and stick with that commitment over the long haul. If it becomes necessary for you to leave one church for another, do so with dignity befitting of Christ himself.

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