Summary: Why go Christians go to church? In short because we are family. There we 1. To learn more about Jesus, 2. Can be generous to each other and 3. Praise God Because we are family, to praise God
What is Church all about?
I think that when you have a new minister, it is a good time to take stock and ask yourself – why do we come to church.
Switch bag – the Church
Handkerchiefs – the people
In the same way that the individual handkerchiefs that went into the bag and then came out joined together –
so when we go to Church as individuals - it reminds us that we are joined together – as the family of God when we come out
We go to Church first and foremost because we are all part of one big Christian family.
We come together to have what St Luke in the book of Acts called
And we also come together to spend time with each other.
That is why we have New Life Groups – Cyfa, Songs and Stories….
Our reading this morning gives us a number of other clues as to why going to church is important too.
Any thoughts why going to Church is important?
For it is at church that we:
1. Learn more about Jesus
We read in our lesson this morning that the early church:
42… devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
And it is important to remember that come to church to learn about Jesus through teaching
And we learn about Jesus through visual aids – and Holy Communion is one such visual aid.
Note that in our reading today TAKING Communion was important
St Luke in Acts refers to as “breaking of bread.”
The Holy Communion reminds us that Jesus died on the Cross to take away the penalty – before God - of my wrongdoing.
2. To be generous to each other
The second reason we come together as Church is to be generous
St Luke in Acts records:
44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.
In those days – the people in the church were very poor and so they sold things to give to others.
Today we earn so much more, and so we can give from what we earn- and often don’t need to sell things to help others
But it is not so all over the world:
Story: A couple were visiting in Korea and they saw a father and his son working in a rice paddy.
The old man guided the heavy plough as the boy pulled it.
"I guess they must be very poor," the man said to the missionary who was the couple’s guide and interpreter.
"Yes," replied the missionary. "That’s the family of Chi Nevi.
When the church was built, they were eager to give something to it, but they had no money.
So they sold their ox and gave the money to the church.
This spring they are pulling the plough themselves."
After a long silence, the woman said, "That was a real sacrifice."
The missionary responded, "They do not call it a sacrifice. They are just thankful they had an ox to sell." (my thanks to Bishop Ray W. Chamberlain Jr., "SEASON OF SACRIFICE” for the story)
3. To praise God together
And the final reason we come to church is to praise God together
St Luke records in the book of Acts that the church used to come together and they would be 47praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people.