AWOL

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching” Hebrews 10:25

Have you ever felt like quitting church? I’m not talking about giving up on God – just quitting church. If you have, you’ve probably got some good reasons to leave. Maybe you don’t get to sing the songs you like to sing. Maybe the programs aren’t up to snuff. Maybe the time of the Sunday morning service isn’t suitable. Maybe the deacons or elders have never paid you a visit. Maybe someone’s been disrespectful to you. Maybe you’re uncomfortable with some of the new ways of doing things. Or maybe, when you come to think of it, the main reason is because you can’t remember a single one of the pastor’s sermons.

This final complaint was certainly one person’s excuse for quitting church. An AWOL (absent without leave) churchgoer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. “I’ve gone for thirty years now,” he wrote, “and in that time I have heard something like three-thousand 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 pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all!” It was signed, Missing the Message.

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 reply: “I’ve been married for thirty years now. In that time my wife has cooked some thirty-two thousand meals for me. 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!” It was signed, Receiving the Message. [Source: Anonymous].

What a clincher. There will never be a valid reason for you to stop attending church. So don’t go AWOL. Don’t “give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing” Hebrews 10:25.

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