Summary: This is our Stewardship sermon #1... focusing on attendance.

(OT) Exodus 20:8-11

8 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

“Bueller… Bueller… Bueller…”

1) Video Clip: “Bueller… Bueller… Bueller…”

2) Checking the Box:

How many of you have NEVER seen Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? The plot is very simple… a boy doesn’t want to go to school… and decides to play hooky. The scene we just saw was the first class of the day taking attendance. Did you notice how thrilled all the students looked. Did you notice how clinical and cold the attendance was? Bueller… Bueller… Bueller… Does church ever feel like something out of this movie clip? A boring teacher up front… taking attendance… for a class you don’t want to be at.

Why not skip? Why does it matter? What is one more empty seat? I mean… even when you ARE there… you may not actually be “there.” You’re just punching your timecard… checking your box… collecting your “Jesus Chits” for the week. It doesn’t matter what you get out of it… it matters… that you were there! And if you miss once in a while… well that’s ok… were allowed a few excused absences.

3) Is it anything more?

It makes me ask a very basic question… is there anything more to worship than checking your box? Is it simply a requirement that we have to fulfill? “Thou shalt keep the Sabbath day holy…. (lick finger) CHECK.” Is there anything more? Let’s turn to today’s text to search

God’s wisdom on the subject.

4) Scripture: (Keep your books open today)

NIV Hebrews 10:24-25

24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 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.

Seems to me that within these verses is an answer to the “check your box” dilemma. According to Paul… what is one of the advantages of meeting together in worship? (Answers) Encouragement… spurring each other on. But it doesn’t stop there either… let’s look what Paul says on the subject in his letter to Ephesus:

Ephesians 4:15-16

15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

What’s Paul’s point here? (Answers) Paul hits on some very important things here, not only do we encourage each other… but we support each other and build each other up… not only that… but together we build the church up. When we gather in worship together… we support each other and grow together. When we meet in classes together… we support each other and grow together. When we serve on committees together… we support each other and grow together. When we join in Christian fellowship like the potluck next week… we support each other and grow together. These bonds join and hold us together in Christ… so that we grow together, and build each other up. As we gather… we become the body of Christ… the more we gather… the stronger that body becomes.

So here is a very simple question… if you skip out on church… does the body become stronger or weaker? If you miss a committee meeting… does the body become stronger or weaker? If you decide you don’t need to attend Sunday School… does the body become stronger or weaker? If you decide not to help out with the ministry and mission of the church… does the body become stronger or weaker?

On the other hand, if you come to church and join the body in worship… does the body become stronger and weaker? If you decide to support a committee in its mission and ministry… does the body become stronger or weaker? If you decide to attend a Sunday School class and share your thoughts, questions, and wisdom… does the body become stronger or weaker? If you decide to lend a hand to a ministry or mission that you are passionate about… does the body become stronger or weaker?

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