Yesterday, many of us commemorated the 12th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on our nation. We remembered the event like it was yesterday. We remembered the horror and anguish we felt as we helplessly watched nearly 3,000 of our fellow citizens be whisked away into eternity. We remembered the uncertainty of facing an enemy we could not see coming. We remembered the promises we all made to “never forget”. However, there is one thing we seem to have forgotten…
Our dependence on God during our darkest of nights.
In the days following 9-11, Americans flocked to churches. Some were looking for answers. Some were looking for peace. Some were looking for consolation. All were looking for something…
Many didn’t find it.
The cry of so many in our culture could be summed up in the words of an old ’80’s song by the group Jefferson Starship…
I know it’s too late now
But I wish I could go back in time
And start all over somehow
And get it right from the start
Many people carry unnecessary regret. Many think it is too late to change, or wish they could go back in time and get a “do over”.
Well, this Sunday, you can.
Sunday, September 15, 2013 is National Back to Church Sunday. If you are currently involved in a church, I challenge you to invite someone who isn’t to join you at your house of worship. If you are not involved in a church, I invite you to visit a church in your area, and see how you can get involved.
You may say, “I’m just not sure I can find a church that is right for me.”
Well, you won’t know until you try, and with 20,000+ churches participating this Sunday, the odds are pretty good that there is one that is right for you. And just remember: You have to start somewhere. If you don’t find it the first time out, keep trying. I believe the church where you belong is out there waiting for you.
“Well, I have a lot of questions… maybe some of my questions are dumb”
Church is a great place for asking questions. The Bible is filled with people who “inquired of the Lord.” If it is an easy question, we should be able to find you an answer quickly. If it is a tough question, we may just have to find it together. The only “dumb” question is the one you don’t ask. Wouldn’t it be great to find a group of people you can grow with?
“I just feel like my life is a journey.”
Life is a journey, and the church is not a destination. It is a place to stop, rest, and find encouragement to continue the journey. It’s about finding a fire, and spreading it to others to light their way. Isn’t the journey always nicer if you have someone to travel with?
“Maybe I’m too different.”
The first church in Jerusalem as described in Acts had a wide diversity of people: spiritually-mature, physically-challenged, ex-cons, religious professionals, widows, foreigners, new-believers, problem-makers, problem-solvers, and more. Sadly, the 21st century church is the most segregated place in our nation. Let’s work together to change that.
“But I’m a sinner…”
Welcome to the club… we all are. The Bible says that “all have sinned”. It is why we need Jesus.
What better place to find healing than a hospital? The church is a hospital for the downtrodden and weary of heart. Come find rest and healing in the hands of the Great Physician.
“Well, the church is full of hypocrites…”
True, so you should fit right in. <<wink>> Seriously… we are ALL hypocrites in one way or another. Unless you live 100 percent of what you believe 100 percent of the time, you are, by definition, a hypocrite. However, our goal as Christians is to be more like Jesus. We may not always succeed, but most of us are trying. That is the great thing about grace and mercy.
So, the ball is in your court. Maybe you were involved in a church and left. Maybe you’ve never darkened the doorstep of a local church. Whatever your condition, why not find your way back (or to) a church this Sunday? I know that we would love to see you at Abba’s House, if you are in the Chattanooga/North Georgia area.