Some go to church to take a walk, some go there to laugh and talk,
Some go there to meet a friend, some go there their time to spend,
Some go there to meet a lover, some go there a fault to cover,
Some go there for speculation, some go there for observation,
Some go there to doze and nod— the good go there to Worship GOD
The New Zealand Evangelist, Vol. 2, no. 13 (1 July 1849) Why Do You Go
to Church? — by Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Of the reasons in this list, some are interesting; some are good. To meet a lover is a good reason. After all, what is a better place than church? Of all these rhyming reasons, it is the final reason, to worship God, which echoes in the silence. To worship God represents our Christian intuition. To worship God is the duty and privilege to which our collective conscience binds us.
Yet, to worship God is not the reason of scripture. There is one reason, and only one reason, which bears mention in the pages of scripture. The reason of scripture did not make the list. In Hebrews 10 it is written: …let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
It has been said, “When I attend church I get nothing from it. I feel closer to God in the forest or the desert”. True perhaps, but a feeling of closeness to God is no prerequisite. The passage commands our meeting for mutual exhorting and provoking, an entirely horizontal purpose between man and man. From the passage, the purpose is to give and not only get, to participate and not only observe, to serve and not only feel.
While we laugh, talk, love, and worship God, let us remember the command of scripture, to “consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works…exhorting one another”. Let each of us move from casual observer to intentional participant.