This morning I'm planning on driving a bit more than an hour to visit the people who live in a community that I got to know quite well between 1988 and 1992.*
The people will be getting together under the direction of a man who has been called by the church to lead a somewhat formal gathering that the people call a "worship service." I will go and I expect to be blessed by the scriptures and the singing and the prayers.
I wish that the meeting was going to be more participatory than I suspect it will be, but I am still looking forward to it. At the very least it will be a time when Jesus' name is lifted up and God is honored in a more or less public way.
This is a day that many churches celebrate as "The Day of Pentecost," the day when the Holy Spirit came with power upon Jesus' disciples and many others were brought into the body of Christ. I wish there would be lots of spontaneous expressions of the gifts of God among the people where I who will be getting together today, but I'm not in control. So I will participate as best I can.
Will you "go to church" today? Will you gather with others who you don't have much in common with except the Lord Jesus and the "coincidence" of being nearby? I believe God uses these gatherings even when they are restricted by various traditions. Let's use this day to move out of the small group that we associate with otherwise and go somewhere to meet those who want to honor Jesus above all else.
* The church I'll be re-visiting today is in the town of Glen Flora, WI. In 1986 had been called as associate pastor of an organized church body in a larger nearby town (Ladysmith). At the end of 1987 the senior pastor of that church retired, and during the time between his retirement and the arrival of the next senior pastor the denomination we were a part of guided that church into a partnership with the church in the community that I'm going to visit today. I worked there on a part time basis and really enjoyed it. Some of the folks I grew to love during that time have died or moved away, but I will see some familiar faces... so it's worth the drive. (Toni and I are at her parents cabin right now so it's not far away.)