Why do you go to church? The question is one that most of could answer with very little thought in 5-10 seconds. Many of us could certainly provide a more thoughtful answer if we needed to, probably one steeped in tradition (our faith ancestry) and theology (our beliefs about God). We could tell all about how we come to church to fellowship with other believers, worship God, and learn about Him. We might even talk about our belief that the church is meant to reach out to the community around it and to take the gospel (our belief that Jesus Christ is the only way to have a relationship with God) to the world. But knowing all of that, knowing everything we know about God and church, why do we really go to church??? Do you really go to church for all the reasons the Bible tells us to?
I was challenged last night by Isaac Denson at our Monday night community Holy Week service. He preached on John 13, where we find Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. It’s a frequently used passage, but no less powerful because of it. In John 13, Jesus first takes of his robe and ties a towel around his waist, then he gets on his knees. Before we even get to the actual washing, recognize that the position adopted by Jesus is on of complete weakness and servitude. Can you imagine a more vulnerable and humble position than being on your knees in a towel? Then Jesus moves on to washing people’s feet. This is a disgusting task even today and as Isaac pointed out it would have been considerably worse then. Imagine what washing someone’s feet would have meant back then, its not just dust and dirt and sweat. They had not sewage at the time, there were no cars driving the roads only animals which have a totally different form of exhaust. All of that filth would have been on the feet of the disciples when Jesus knelt to wash them.
What does it mean to serve others? Why do we go to church? The whole time Isaac was preaching I couldn’t help but consider these questions. Do I go to church because I get something out of it, or because it is my desire to serve others? Would you…would I…still go to church or my church if it could do none of the things that I like? If law or disaster or circumstance changed the way your church had to do things, would you still go? What if going meant you would be ostracized from your community? What if your church didn’t have air-conditioning or sound systems? What if your church could do none of the things you enjoy most? Would you give up everything and humble yourself as Jesus did, to put yourself it the lowest position and serve those around you? Would I? I need to ask myself everyday, how am I called to serve today? Who and I called to serve today? Who are you called to serve today? What are you called to do to serve Monahans or wherever you live? Are the needs of others and is the goal of reaching others really higher than your own happiness and your own desires?
It’s Holy week…what is God calling you to change in your heart this week?