Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.
I used to 'go to church' because I thought that I would get into big trouble with God if I didn't attend.
And then once I got over that way of thinking, I went through a phase where I was trying to figure out what the point of 'going to church' actually was. I knew I could call on my Father just as easily from the seat of my car as from my seat in a pew. I knew I could worship Him in song as I washed dishes as deeply as I could from the depths of an auditorium. While Michael and I have always kept the habit of weekly attendance, it is a question we do receive from people from time to time, why all the 'church-going'.
I do know why I'm going this week.
Don't stone me just yet.
In our hot August Texas climes, the air conditioning at the house played out mid-week. By late Wednesday, the HVAC technician thought he had it patched back together well enough to see us through the weekend until a key part comes in Monday.
That lasted all of 24 hours and by Thursday night, the house was back to feeling like a pizza oven. Another technician showed up late Friday afternoon and tried another work around, which lasted until yesterday morning.
And then the compressor decided to join its fellow failed air condition components of fan and circuit board.
And the mercury outside and in has climbed and climbed.
Obviously, most of the world's population lives without the luxury of air conditioning. And they live just fine. We ourselves have actually begun to adjust over the past few days, finding that when the temp in the house drops to the mid-eighties during the evening, we feel downright comfortable.
Well, maybe not comfortable. But tolerable.
We're a little draggy, a little subdued. The heat does make one feel lethargic.
But if we had to survive without AC, we could.
That said, we are all very excited this morning to head to church. Because there is cool, refreshing air there.
And that speaks to me, given the events of this week.
Yes, we can meet with the Lord anytime, anywhere. It's one of the great privileges extended to us because of the cross. And those times of getting away somewhere, alone, to focus on the Lord and His Word are amazing.
But there is also great refreshing that comes in gathering as a community of people, in attending the family reunion of our brothers and sisters in Christ. To stand in the congregation, to pray in unity, to look into the faces of those we are walking this life with, to know trial and victory and strength and hope beyond the self-involved walls of our own head, this is one of the key reasons of 'going to church'.
To be a part of what is really 'the church'. The people.
The messy people, the loving people, the inspirational people, the lost people. To be amongst the hodgepodge of hearts.
And to feel the cool refreshing of Christ's community whisper across our lethargic souls.
We come together to refresh and re-energize and encourage one another. We come together as a family united. We come together as living reminders of His mercy and grace and salvation, even when the week of the world has left us tired and depleted.
We come for the air conditioning of the Spirit, that incredible place where the climate of our hearts can be changed from stormy to peaceful.
Going to 'church'.
To be the church.
And to find refreshing.