A week and a half ago, Bart's grandfather passed away. A week before that, he had been admitted. In the week he was a patient in the hospital we learned that he had bladder cancer that had metastasized into both of his lungs. It was a whirlwind week that started with Bart working out of town in Oklahoma the first half of the week, and it ended with his brother flying in to XNA that Friday night so the boys could drive to Little Rock and see their Granddaddy one last time. His brother's plane had just taken off last Sunday to head back to Virginia when we got the call that their granddaddy passed away.
It was a difficult week for everyone. It was a blessing that he didn't have to endure a prolonged period of suffering. Still, it has been difficult. Everyone loved Bart's Granddaddy, and his absence is noticeable, especially for Bart's grandmother, who had been married to him for sixty-four years.
Since it had been such a long, difficult week Bart and I debated over whether or not we wanted to get up Sunday to go to church or just stay at home. It was very tempting to just stay at home and relax. We had spent part of the week in Little Rock, then we hosted Bart's brother, sister-in-law, nephew, and their dog. Let me tell you, two two-year-olds who adore each other and three dogs who believe they're sisters can be very tiring. Yet something pushed me to tell Bart that we needed to go.
The more I thought about it, the more I knew that we needed to go to church rather than stay home to rest. Yes, we were tired physically, but we also were exhausted spiritually. Even when you're sure of a loved one's salvation, losing them can take a lot out of you. We needed that time dedicated to worship and fellowship with our brothers and sisters in the Lord.
When sad things happen, we can often feel a spiritual disconnect. I'm a firm believer that it is times such as this that we need our church families the most. I know many people believe that they don't need a church home - that they can worship God anywhere. However, going to church is about so much more than singing a few songs and hearing a sermon that makes you feel good. Church is about family and community. It's about accountability. It's about being surrounded in prayer when you need it most. It's about being served and more importantly, serving others in God's love.
Sleeping in would have been nice, but it was no coincidence that our sermon Sunday was over death and more importantly, life after death (2 Corinthians 5:1-10). We needed that reassurance, I believe, and I'm thankful I listened when led to go. Never discount the importance of attending church. We all need fellowship.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken