Therefore, brothers since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus,the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:19-25)
Many times in ministry people will complain to me, as their child gets older, especially High school aged and beyond, “They never go to worship and want nothing to do with it.” Often this comment comes with the “Why aren’t you getting my kid to come to Church” look. On one occasion I was brave and told the parent what I really thought. Maybe it was a bit harsh but I think it was truth all the same. I told the mom I was talking to “You taught you child about worship. They are just following your example. A lot of families have said we go to worship when it is convenient or when we feel like it. ” She proceeded to get a little angry and defensive about her worship practice. She came up with the classic excuses “I work, my kids had sports this weekend and sometimes I want a day to sleep in. They really didn’t want to go and I didn’t want a fight so we took a week off….” I responded with “What did that teach them? It taught them we only go to worship when it is convenient for your schedule.” We shouldn’t be surprised that our kids are listening and watching everything we do. It may seem like they are never listening but in all reality they are watching our every move. If every time it is difficult to go to Church we miss worship, our kids see this and pick up on it. They will make the same choices we make when it comes to worship and ultimately life.
For high school, jr. High, and college students worship is never convenient. For most parents, adults, and young adults worship is never convenient. Our lives are super busy we run from one thing to the other. We all have many activities that take up most nights of the week especially Saturday night as we get older. Most teens stay up very late on the weekends and just don’t want to get up for Church. Many young adults do the same thing. It is not convenient to be awake before noon on a Sunday. In fact to be honest as a Church worker I would love one Sunday to just skip and sleep in until noon as well. The question for us as parents is “Have I made my worship attendance all about being convenient? Have I told my kids worship is only for when I want to go.”
This is a tough moment for all of us as parents. I have seen it done many times over and over where parents let sports, social activities, homework and everything else get in the way of worship. The amazing thing about worship is that in worship we receive the two greatest gifts of our faith lives. We receive Christ’s Word for our lives and Christ’s body and blood for the forgiveness of sins in the bread and wine. These two things alone are our greatest defense against all the world has to throw at us. Satan would want nothing more than to get us by ourselves away from our gathering together in order to take us out.
I don’t want to end this with just God to Church. I want to end with Forgiveness is available for all of us because it is. Grace is available through our amazing God even when we as parents teach our children the wrong thing. It is important for all of us to think and pray about how we can do it better. We can come up with all sorts of excuses but in the end we are called to gather together so that we may be lifted up. Come join a community of believers in Christ. Hear the good news of Christ and may it life up you and your family in your faith journey going forward. Worship is never convenient but it is the greatest benefit for our faith.