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As is the Manner of Some

by sandra snider  
6/08/2007 / Christian Living

I download the live feed on my laptop and ease into my favorite chair. Ah, this is the Christian life; it doesn't get any better than this!

Instead of driving 10 minutes to church because of laziness, this able-bodied believer remains in the comfort of living room and streams the Sunday service over the internet. I "go to church" in my pajamas, relax in my recliner with a cup of java, bible open, and never even leave the house. Yeah, I tell myself, this is good.

The service begins: I see my brothers and sisters in Christ singing and praising the Lord. I watch and observe the "cloud of witnesses." This is my church family with whom I am in ministry and fellowship with. I see people who I pray for and who pray for me. I hear their voices of joy and praise, but this Sabbath I chose not to go with them to the house of God.

The pastor begins to speak but my coffee has grown cold. I get up from my creature comforts and pad into the kitchen to refill my mug with fresh beverage. As I push back into my cushioned "pew" the two cats now want my attention. It's a challenge to ignore the things of the world and tune into things of the Lord. With demanding animals seeking to displace my bible and note taking, it's hard to pay attention to what the pastor is saying to the church, of which I am a part.

The service ends and I close my laptop. I had deliberately distanced myself from the multitude that keeps a pilgrim feast (Psalm 42:4) By poor choice I had not feasted with my church family. I had not eaten in plenty and I left my personal church service spiritually hungry. Hebrews 10:25 warns, "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some"

The house of God is the church of the living God (I Timothy 3:15) and I had totally missed my living Lord! I did learn, however, the absolute spiritual truth of Matthew 18:20: "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."

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