Summary: If we ever needed each other, as brothers and sisters in Christ, if we ever needed to be faithful to the fellowship of the saints, surely our current cultural environment means we need each other now.

If We Ever Needed Each Other…

TCF Sermon

August 9, 2015

This morning, we’re going to talk about church, so I found a little church humor you might like:

Top 10 Ways You Know You’re In A Bad Church

10. The church bus has gun racks.

9 . The church staff consists of Senior Pastor, Associate Pastor and Socio-pastor.

8. The Bible they use is the "Dr. Seuss Version."

7. There’s an ATM in the lobby.

6. The choir wears leather robes.

5. Worship services are BYOS - "Bring your own snake."

4. No cover charge, but communion is a two-drink minimum.

3. Karaoke Worship Time

2. Ushers ask, "Smoking or non-smoking?"

1. The only song the organist knows is "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida."...

This announcement came in too late to get it into the bulletin, so I’ll read it to you now:

To make it possible for everyone to attend church next Sunday, we are going to have a special "No Excuse Sunday." Cots will be placed in the foyer for those who say, "Sunday is my only day to sleep in." Visine will be available for those with red, tired eyes... from watching television too late on Saturday night. We will have steel helmets for those who say, "The roof would cave in if I ever came to church." Blankets will be provided for those who think the church is too cold, and fans for those who think the church is too hot. We will have hearing aids for those who say, "The preacher speaks too softly," and cotton for those who say he preaches too loudly. Score cards will be available for those who wish to list the hypocrites present. Some relatives will be in attendance for those who like to go visiting on Sunday. There will be 100 T.V. dinners for those who cannot go to church and cook dinner also. One section will be devoted to trees and grass for those who like to seek God in nature. Finally, the auditorium will be decorated with both Christmas poinsettias and Easter lilies for those who have never seen the church without them.

As with all good humor, there must be an element of relatable truth to make it funny. This particular announcement represents some truths about people’s commitment to the Lord, and to each other, and how we do church.

So does this cartoon:

In a Peanuts cartoon, Lucy demands that Linus change TV channels and then threatens him with her fist if he doesn’t. "What makes you think you can walk right in here and take over?" asks Linus. "These five fingers," says Lucy. "Individually they are nothing, but when I curl them together like this into a single unit, they form a weapon that is terrible to behold." "What channel do you want?" asks Linus. Turning away, he looks at his fingers and says, "Why can’t you guys get organized like that?"

The truth is that there is power when we’re together. There is power to accomplish more than we can accomplish working on our own. There is power in our personal lives, power in our individual walks with God, that’s not possible when we’re isolated from one another.

There was a time in my life when I didn’t truly understand that there was strength in numbers. There is strength, available for me and for you, in commitment to a common purpose, in commitment to one another. In fact, even during the early years I was at TCF, I didn’t grasp this.

In my first six or seven years at TCF, I was a fairly regular attender, but I must admit, I could find a wide variety of reasons to miss church. Most of those reasons I would not personally consider adequate today. I typically slept later in those days than I do now, and loved to sleep in on Saturdays and Sundays. It’ll tell you how much I loved to sleep when you consider the fact that the service didn’t even begin until 10:30 in those days – and I could still use that excuse to miss church.

Sleep was only one of the reasons I missed church sometimes. We were involved in two different house churches in our first 3 or 4 years at TCF, both of which eventually disbanded for different reasons, and then I spent about four years away from fellowship in house churches, having quickly gotten out of the habit of attending and finding it hard to get back into that routine.

Now, another thing I remember about those early years that I attended TCF, is that there was a strong culture of devotion and commitment to being in church - to the point that it might have been a bit unhealthy, because of the amount of time you were expected to be here. I was definitely going against the grain.

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