Summary: We exalt "going to church" as the main thing, when the main thing is taking the message from the church home with you into your everyday life.
Take It With You
Have you ever gone to Walmart with their circular baggage area, left the store and left one of your bags there in the store. What do you do when you recognize it’s missing? Or have you been to a store and left something on the counter or in the grocery cart. How do you feel about it when you get home?
As a kid did you ever have your homework done and felt good about it, until the teacher said take out your homework, and you tried to but you couldn’t. All of a sudden you remembered you left it on the kitchen table. Didn’t your heart just sink down inside of you? Now the frustration, the anger, the wasted time, the beating yourself up, could have all been avoided, if you had of just taken the stuff with you. When you to pick up something, remember to “take it with you.:
One day I was busy here at the church but got hungry for something to eat. I drove over to McDonald’s and ordered my lunch. I was so busy thinking about what I had to do. I gave my order at the little talk box. I pulled up to the first window and paid for my order. The guy gave me a receipt.
I pulled up to the second window and since there was no car in front of me, I sped right past the second window and drove back to the church. In the parking lot, as I was getting out, I reached for my lunch and there was none. I realized I had left McDonalds and missed the reason I had visited the store in the first place.
Now the interesting thing is I was still hungry, but I was too embarrassed to go back to the store and admit my mistake. Now McDonald’s did everything they were supposed to do in preparing my McChicken Sandwich, my $1 fry and my $1 drink. I on the other hand did not keep my end of the bargain, because “I didn’t take it with me.”
We base our actions for the most part on assumptions that we make. An assumption is something we believe is true, but it may not be true at all. I assumed I had my dollar menu meal, so I drove off with complete confidence and arrived back at the church empty handed and hungry.
Now all of us have assumed certain things to be true and acted upon them, and found out we were wrong in our assumptions. Sometimes it does not matter a whole lot if we are wrong. For instance if you assumed it was not going to rain and you didn’t take an umbrella but then it did rain, chances are you probably got wet coming from where you were going.
Sometimes the wrong assumption matters a whole lot. For instance you marry someone assuming you could change a destructive pattern in their lives only to discover you can’t. That’s a huge price to pay for a wrong assumption.
There is an assumption that many Christians and non Christians alike assume about Christianity that is not true. They assume, that the main thing about loving God and showing your love for God is being in church on Sunday morning. They think that God has a big attendance chart and that on Sunday morning God is filling in those charts and giving out eternal stickers.
God is saying there is John, yes. I see Amy made it. Yes. This is Fred’s 45th consecutive Sunday. Yes. Oh Oh David did not make it this week. This is not good. Look at the number of no shows on his chart.
Because we make the assumption that being in church is the main thing, we miss out on the main thing. So before church, we are saying things like, “Boy if you don’t get out of that bed and start getting ready for church I’m going to knock the living daylight out of you.” We have people saying “it’s almost 4:30 I got to leave the club so I can make it to church in the morning.” We have people saying, “if you make us late for church one more time, you are really going to be sorry.” We have people yelling and screaming at each other with the biggest fights just before church, but by George they got to church.
How many of us have even said, “man the devil sure is busy on Sunday morning. He tried to keep us out of church, but we made it.” Again we are thinking, “God sure is happy with us, look at us we made it to church.” Even those of us who are here at church and don’t want to be here, we think in the back of our minds if we were to die tomorrow, at least we could tell God, we were in church the day before we died. Why, because we assume that somehow you get points with God for being in church.