Monday, September 6, 2010

Where the Food Is. . ..

Lately there has been a great deal of conversation and speculation as to whether or not President Obama is a Christian. Invariably in this discussion it is mentioned that the Obama's do not attend church since moving to Washington, DC. Often this is discussed in contrast to both Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush who frequently attended church.

Let me first state that whether President Obama has a true relationship with the Lord Jesus is between him and the Lord. It is not for me to decide. But it does remind me of something that happened the other morning when we were kayaking.

We set out just before sunrise and I noticed several fishing boats on the water, dragging their nets behind them. In the air all around the boats flew multiple sea gulls. These birds weren't circling the fishing boats to prove they were birds. They weren't flying to prove they could fly. They were circling the fishing boats because that is where the food was. The fish were on the boats.

When discussing a Christian attending church, one must question, why does a Christian attend church? Certainly not to prove that one is a Christian. A Christian goes to church because they want to. They want to be taught by the pastor and teachers there. They want to be encouraged by their brothers and sisters in the Lord. They want to have the opportunity to share and sing and pray together. It strengthens their heart, or as the Bible states it, "iron sharpeneth iron."

Several months ago, extenuating circumstances kept one of our friends from church. When he rejoined us, he told us how much he had missed "this fellowship together." The manner in which he expressed it made me think of an almost tangible bond between us all. For Christians it is not only something we want, but something we truly need. When a Christian doesn't want to fellowship together with other believers, that usually is an indication of something wrong somewhere.

The Lord has given us His Spirit, His Word and the communion of our brethren in the body of Christ for support, encouragement, correction and instruction. We do well to follow the advice of the author of the book of Hebrews:

"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." Hebrews 10:25

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