How many times have you heard preachers speak about how we come to church on a Sunday to meet with God? I hear that sort of thing and think: oh, really? Do I need to come to church for that? Surely I can meet with God any time anywhere!
Though yes, there are places where we might find it easier to hear God, easier to sense his presence – but this varies a lot from one person to another, and it also depends on the atmosphere in a particular church, or even a particular service in that church. I love my church and have no inclination to look for other pastures, but I’m not going to pretend it’s perfect and that everything there works for me all the time. There is plenty of stuff in how our services are run that doesn’t help me sense God’s presence, there’s stuff that even gets in the way for me. So no, I do not go to church in order to meet with God – though I do sometimes bump into him there, and it’s pretty wonderful when that happens.
But last night our visiting preacher said something which I felt was very true: he talked about the importance of meeting together in order to remind ourselves and one another what it is we believe and why. How after a week in the midst of the cynical world out there, it is helpful to come together with fellow believers and repeat the stuff we believe in, reinforce it in our minds, say it aloud, sing it, hear it spoken from the pulpit – in preparation for another week out there amongst the scoffers.
I think that is definitely one of the reasons why going to church is good for us.