Depending on what time zone you’re in and what your reading habits might be, there’s a good chance that, if you’re reading this post on a Sunday morning, I’m either getting ready to go to church, driving toward the church we call home, or actively engaged in Sunday worship. For our family, church attendance is a habit so firmly established that we don’t even have to think about it.
In fact, if I had to start from scratch every Sunday with the question, “Do we or don’t we?” I’m sorry to say that I’d rarely make it. So I’m thankful for the habit of worship and wish I had cultivated more good habits to fall back on when I’m weak.
I’ve been surprised to notice how much C.S. Lewis had to say about church attendance and the practice of worship. Dipping only from Lewis’s collection of most-quoted essays, The Weight of Glory, I discovered five arguments, five solid reasons for the believer to cultivate the strong habit of Sunday worship with a body of believers:
Looking for a reason to attend Sunday worship? I’ve lifted 5 from The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis. What’s your top reason for worshiping with the Body of Christ?Tweet
Reason 1: Sunday morning worship invites you to luxuriate in God’s approval.
To please God… to be a real ingredient in the divine happiness… to be loved by God, not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in his work or a father in a son–it seems impossible, a weight or burden of glory which our thoughts can hardly sustain. But so it is.”The Weight of Glory, page 39
In the run of a busy week, do you ever stop to consider that God delights in you? Of course, you can appreciate and bask in the love of God anywhere, but a weekly appointment with God and his people makes it a priority. Besides, this is a good place for your mind to go as you engage in Sunday worship as a reminder that worship is all about God–not the other people in the building.
Reason 2: Every gathering for worship is a collection of extraordinary people.
It is a serious thing… to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare… There are no ordinary people.”The Weight of Glory, pages 45-46
There’s a soul-stretching benefit to worshiping alongside those who vote or think in ways that are incomprehensible to us. They might even smell bad or dress in a manner that brings out the curmudgeon in us. But they, too, are mightily loved by God. (See point one!)
Reason 3: Weekly worship reminds you that God has a rightful claim on all your life.
There is no question of a compromise between the claims of God and the claims of culture, or politics, or anything else. God’s claim is infinite and inexorable.”The Weight of Glory, pages 54-55
Taking the psalmist’s declaration quite literally, all our “times are in God’s hands.” If we’re serious about our commitment to honor him with all our lives, the “sacrifice” of a few hours on Sunday morning serves as an affirmation of that commitment. It’s our way of saying, “Lord, I love you more than whatever else I might be doing with this time right now.”
Reason 4: Corporate life is the biblical model. We were never intended to practice our faith privately.
The Christian is not called to individualism but to membership in the mystical body… We are all constantly teaching and learning, forgiving and being forgiven, representing Christ to man when we intercede, and man to Christ when others intercede for us.”The Weight of Glory, pages 163, 167
Each of us plays an important role in the Body of Christ which cannot be filled by any other person. According to the Apostle Paul, when the whole body is “fitly joined together,” we’re at our best. “When each part is working properly…, the body grow[s] so that it builds itself up in love.”
Reason 5: Gathering with other believers, singing the music, and hearing the Living Word reminds us of why we believe.
To believe in the forgiveness of sins is not nearly so easy as I thought. Real belief in it is the sort of thing that very easily slips away if we don’t keep on polishing it up.”The Weight of Glory, pages 175-176
Coming together for corporate worship is the “polishing up” of our faith. I may not see God at work in my life today, but God visibly at work in your life encourages me to persevere. During times when our faith is weak, we may need to lean on others, to “borrow” their faith for a season as they pray for us and encourage us.
What Are Your Thoughts on Sunday Worship?
Do any of these reasons resonate with you?
There are far too many Lewis quotes from his other books about church attendance, worship, and the concept of “membership” for me to include here, but if you’ve got a favorite that I haven’t included, I invite you to share it in the comments.
Holding you in the Light,
During times when our faith is weak, we may need to lean on others, to “borrow” their faith for a season as they pray for us and encourage us.Tweet
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