I Love You, You Love Me, We’re a Happy Family
If you have Millennial kids, you are probably yelling at me right now because I just put that song in your head. That’s right, the theme song of Barney. I sang that song to Calvin more times than ‘Reckless Love’ gets played on Christian radio – and that means a lot. But if my weekends blogs are to be about worship, what does this have to do with Barney? Join me, read further, and let us make that connection.
Today, In WOW on Worship, I want to talk about the need to go to church, the need to gather as a body of Christ, the need to get out of your house and drive to a place of worship and sit next to other people. Now I realize worship can take place alone, in the car, on a mountainside, at the beach, in front of your iPad, or watching on the TV – and we do need times to get alone with God. And I often tune in to Groeschel, Furtick, MacDonald, and others to hear great music and God’s Word shared. I feel comfortable in my casual attire on the couch watching an online worship – I can pause the stream, talk out points, and even fall asleep in the middle to watch the rest later. I love the fact that friendship BC is now live on FB (and I have watched that too.) But this is never to replace gathering together as the family of God.
There are studies that show internet congregations can hurt the numbers of physical attendance, that online worship causes a decline in giving, or that people who do online worship still miss being part of a community – that connection to others. But I want to get to a word I have used several times – “NEED” – there is a real need for gathering.
1 – The Word Tells Us To …
If you need a reason to go to church, look straight to the Word – Hebrews 10:24-25 … 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.
2 – We Need to Be Stirred Up, or We Need Other People
Even 1st Century folks were falling into the skipping church routine. And this is not healthy. For in a ‘rubber meets the road’ reason – we need to be encouraged. You need the body of Christ. You need the stirring up, the encouragement from each other. The words ‘stir up’ brings to mind picture a fire that needs to be stoked, stirred to reignite the flame. An ember all by itself will soon die out. I am not talking only about when life is tough, but every step in our journey we need others. No man is an island, we were created for relationships. ‘Stirring up’ also can be seen as a cattle prod, prodding others to good works. There are times you need to be prodded.
3 – We Need to Stir Up Others, or Other People Need You
That’s right, we don’t gather just so we can get something out of it. We gather so we can encourage and help others as well. Preachers need to see heads nodding (not nodding off) and ‘Amens’ lifted. Worship Leaders need voices as they lead in song. There may be someone that just needs a smile or handshake – or even heaven help us, a hug. And you might the one God wants to use to give them that.
4 – The World Needs to See Our Love
One last point. The Bible also tells us the world will know we Christians by our love. How can the world see our love for each other if we stay tucked away, glued to the TV, and not gathering together. What a great picture of love it is when people who are different (backgrounds, racial, economic, everything) come together for the Love of Christ. We can disagree on issues, but we can come together and agree that Jesus is what draws us together. In a world being ripped apart by politics, personal viewpoints, various philosophies, and a plethora of other things, let’s be a picture of love and unity (what a great aspect that this year’s Day of Prayer was focused on unity!!)
The Word tells us to
We need others in our life
Others need us in their lives
And coming together, we show our love, for Christ and for each other
So … I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family; With a great big hug, and a kiss from me to you, won’t you say you love me too (and say it in person)!
After thought – I used to think Barney could be the anti-christ. Thank on this – six fingers, six toes, and six spots on his body. And, he is going after the kids. But on looking back, I think this was just a reaction to being forced to sing that song too often.