Saturday, October 22, 2011

What good is a tree? The value of going to church

Here’s a little food for thought. I came across an article I’d clipped from the Salina Journal several years ago titled “The value of going to church” by Don Nofsinger. An analogy he mentioned from a Reader’s Digest story he’d read called “What Good is a Tree?” explained that when the roots of trees touch, there is a substance present that reduces competition. In fact, this fungus helps link roots of different trees—even of dissimilar species. A whole forest may be linked together. If one tree has access to water, another to nutrients, and a third to sunlight, the trees have the means to share with one another.

A friend told me someone he knew didn’t attend because this person said there are too many hypocrites in church. I say, true—no one is perfect— therefore, as sinners we all fall into the category of being hypocrites. Another friend commented he’d once been told, “I’d rather sit with a few hypocrites on Sundays than spend every day of eternity with the rest of them.” I’ve heard a comment that church is a hospital for sinners.

The following bullets are just a few benefits and blessings of attending church and Bible study classes:
  • Sense of belonging to a community of caring and nurturing people.
  • Christians need and support each other.
  • Mixing up God-given gifts/talents of members strengthen and benefit a community.
  • Maintain passion through encouragement of and from others. Analogy: if you pull a log away from a burning fire, eventually it will begin to smolder and go out.
  • The value of the sermon. It’s a spiritual talk given by a trained theologian with a master of divinity (at least in the LCMS) directly delivering God’s Word through his voice to your ears! He connects the Word to real life. Even though it only lasts about 10 minutes and you may not always remember every detail—think about this: Eating 32,000 meals over 30 years, you may not recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals, but this is sure: They all nourished you and gave you the strength to do your work. Going without food would physically kill me, likewise, skipping church for nourishment would leave me spiritually dead.
  • The opportunity to give thanks, praise, sing, worship, pray in God’s house
  • This is how God works: [1] By grace (Jesus death and resurrection) which is purely a gift of God; [2] Using God’s means: Word, water (baptism), bread and wine; [3] Through faith which God works; [4] Saved and forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
Ok, it’s time for my walk. Have a great day!

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