We had to cancel church today due to our second big snow in six weeks. Whereas the December storm dumped a foot on us, this one only gave us six or seven inches. I suppose we should be grateful that the weather guys missed the forecast a little. We were supposed to have gotten a foot again.
I really do hate cancelling church. The fact is, I could get there. I have not one but two all-wheel-drive vehicles and am pretty good at driving on snow and ice. I could get the parking lot scraped too. My brother-in-law, Ben, has a big blade on his jeep and volunteers to handle that job for me.
So why cancel? I do it because I don’t want anybody getting hurt by trying to get to church on a wintry morning. If one car ended up in a ditch, I’d feel terrible. If one elderly person slipped and broke a hip while getting in or out of a car, I’d feel terrible. If one mother’s feet gave way and she went down while holding her child, I’d feel terrible. I know that we are not supposed to live in fear of what could happen, and I’m really not a “doom and gloom” person. But I don’t think God wants us to completely abandon common sense in some misguided, fanatical zeal about never missing a church service.
As I listened to the church closings on our local radio station this morning, it became obvious that 95% of the pastors took the same cautious approach I did today. No church was having regular services. One was only having an 11:00 worship service. A couple were having one 2:00 service this afternoon. But 95% just cancelled everything.
For me, a Sunday morning without church is like a basketball court without goals. It’s just not right. I’m not one of these people who secretly cheers when church gets cancelled. (Seriously, if you are such a person, you need to do some soul searching and figure out why getting to “legally” skip church excites you.) And it’s not just the fact that I want to preach. It seems like I’m always preparing sermons or preaching them. The thing is, I really do miss the fellowship and community of church. I enjoy being around my brothers and sisters in Christ. I enjoy them being a blessing to me and me being a blessing to them.
Oh well, my prayer on days like today is that cancelling services will help the members realize how much they enjoy coming to Disciples Road Church. It’s the old “absence makes the heart grow fonder” thing. I don’t ever want church attendance to become rut or ritual to them. I don’t even want it to become mere “religion.” Christianity got off track when it became a religion. It was always supposed to be a relationship, a relationship between the believer and Jesus. And as a integral part of that relationship, the believer is supposed to attend church on Sunday, the first day of the week, as a way of celebrating Christ’s resurrection on that Sunday morning so long ago. Yes, Christians are supposed to do that celebrating every Sunday, not just Easter Sunday.
On a completely different note, I did get one bit of good news this morning. My scales weighed me at 187 pounds. So, I’ve lost 14 pounds in 20 days since I started my diet and exercise program. If you want to know the specifics of how I’m doing it, go back and read the post entitled “It’s Diet Time Again.”
My goal is still to get somewhere between 175 and 180 pounds. From there I’ll just be trying to maintain. I’ve been in that range before, and I’ve even held it for a couple of years, but it doesn’t happen naturally. What naturally happens is me drifting back up over 200 pounds. Since I know that full well, maybe I can prevent it from happening this time and stay at my ideal weight. Now if I can just figure out a way to safely have church after a big snow on Saturday. That one is a little more problematic.