Festive Gatherings

Another holiday season has come and gone…  The house has once again assumed its normal lighting scheme, and the living room no longer resembles the local garden & nursery center.  The passing season also means transitioning our kids from their holiday stupor back into reality.  As glum faces headed back to school this week, backpacks heavily slung over slumped shoulders, I wondered how many adults were similarly “forced” to attend an undesired event over the holidays.  Maybe it was a spouse’s dreaded office party, or a gathering at a friend’s house where we didn’t really know anyone else…  or perhaps a daunting clash-of-relatives at an extended-family dinner. (Note to my friends and relatives:  don’t read anything personal into these particular examples!)  Whatever the case, I hope no one reading this would attend a party but then display boredom or lack of enthusiasm — especially in front of the host.

I’m reminded of how my kids get extra-excited about one particular friend’s annual Christmas party.  They count down the days, they talk about it in anticipation, they invite their buddies to come – they can’t wait to get there!  It makes me think:  how cool would it be if we all approached our weekly church services like the best party of the year?

We’ve all had weeks when attending services felt more like an obligation than a privilege.  It can be so easy to get caught up in the methodology of Sunday morning and lose sight of the grand event we’ve been invited to – the whole reason we’re there.

So as we prepare our minds for 2013, let’s take some time to refocus on the significance of our Sunday services.  These are festive gatherings; a time to meet the Lord and celebrate with our most awesome Host; a chance to please Him with our enthusiastic and thankful worship!  How disappointed would He be if we attended His party in any other way?

Psalm 100:2 — Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.

– Ron Reid