The gathering of the saints is something that many of us see as an obligation rather than a privilage, an opportunity to enter to the presence of the almighty creator. We have also lost sight of its intended purpose. We have reduced attending church to the point where it is no more than a part of a religious routine, something we do almost subconciously. As such, we must be reminded as to its reason for existence. Before we go into this any further we must first understand that a church is not a building or structure, a church is the gathering of saints.
When we look at Hebrews chapter 10 we are reminded as to why our hearts should be yearning for the gathering of God's people. Today when we attend church we can be distracted by the things that desire to pull us away from God. Our minds drift toward the work project yet to be completed, the test we took last week didn't go so well or the messy house that needs cleaning, all these things distract us from focusing our hearts on God, but how does this distraction affect our walk with Christ?
The gathering of the saints is meant to provide a means to keep us on track with our relationship with Christ. It's meant to create an environment in which we are surrounded by fellow believers who spur one another on toward love and acts of righteousness (Hebrews 10:24-25). We are to encourage one another and provoke one another to action. Though many gather together to sit and listen to what message the pastor has to deliver, there is much more to coming together as The Church. We are much more than just the simple coming together of strangers, we are a community of saints.
Once we realize this simple fact we will then more fully appreciate the reverance of gathering together in His holy presence. We will then more fully embrace the blessing of worshiping him with no barriers; neither His historical barriers nor ours. The feelings of annoyance and inconvenience will be removed from us. This is not to say that the gathering of saints is somehow a condition of salvation, but rather it is a means of keeping us from drifting away from Christ.
How do you approach coming togther as The Church? Do you see it as a blessing or an inconvenience? Do you just attend church services or do you provoke others to action?