Another holiday season has come, and one thing is certain—we’ve all had a lot to eat. I’m not sure where the tradition came from, but what I am certain is that this is not just the season for presents and good cheer, it’s also the season to make exotic dishes in the hopes that family will eat them.
It’s also the time of year where people that would not darken a church door find themselves in the pews singing familiar songs and hearing a message of child born in stable whose destiny was a cross.
This Christmas season, as I sat in my church in the row of seats I practically always sat in and heard the message one more time, I began to wonder not only about the people that come on holidays, but about us as a Christian people. The question that came to my mind was “Have You Had Enough?”
Have You Had Your Fill?
You see, a lot that I see around me says that many Christians have “had enough.” Not that they are frustrated or are quitting out of spite, but that they have simply had enough, or have had their fill, of spiritual things such that they can go without.
It’s what goes through my mind when I think of people that just attend on the holidays—that attending that one or two services during Christmas time is about as much as a person needs or can take, and that they don’t need any more of it until the next year passes.
We live in a time period where many things vie for our attention—and it seems like there are more every day. We have places to go, things to do, and you multiply that number by the number of children you have and you can quickly find yourself way over booked.
In my mind, when a family chooses to do a sports activity or promotes a sports event over a church event, that says something about what that family thinks about how important the church event is. I’m not saying that you have to make service every time the doors are open—though it would be good.
What I’m saying is that if you willingly choose to engage in an activity that occurs at the same time as your regularly scheduled worship service and you don’t see any problem choosing the sport or game activity then I believe you’re making a statement about your inner man.
I believe that you’re making a statement that says “I don’t need to hear from God at this time as much as I or my child needs to be at soccer or football.”
Answer: “Yes, I’ve had enough—or more than I need—so I can go without this one meal.”
Many people attend church, but that’s all they do. They view the church as a place that they should come to and get ministered unto. After all, that’s why I put my money in the plate, right? These people miss the point that the church is about ministry one to another, not ministry to them only.
This also has a secondary outcome—those that do feel burdened for the nursery, children’s ministry, etc. will work themselves to point of burnout to keep a ministry going while many able bodied people believe that they don’t have to get involved because someone else will.
They say that 80% of the work in the church is done by 20% of the people. Is this something that should be going on in the church of God?
Answer: “That was a fine meal, but I can’t help do the dishes or clean the table.”
Missing the Message
This last group is the group that’s doing all the work, making all of the services, but tuning out the message. This is the group that I struggle with making sure I’m not a member. This is the group that hears the Gospel message and realizes that it’s special, but no longer feels its power.
This is the group of people stuck in a rut. They are doing what they always did because they’ve always done it. They “go through the motions” and do the job, but no longer feel the thrill of knowing that their sins are forgiven, understand the agony of the pain of the One who died for us, and don’t know why they don’t feel anything anymore.
Answer: “I’m full,” they say, while they still have a bunch left on their plate.
God tells us that we can never have too much of Him. He promises that if we will open our mouth wide, He will fill it. He tells us to drink deep of Him, and that if we will pursue Him, we will find Him if we search for Him with all of our heart.
While I’m not equating your local church as the only place where you can find Him1, I am saying that a heart that longs to have more of Him will be where His people are, longing to hear what He has to say.
It was said, during the revivals, that the bars had to close, and business on Sunday ground to a halt. When the Lord moved in people’s lives, people wanted to hear all they could, and lives were changed.
What our Answer should be: “No Lord, I haven’t had enough. Give me more!”
- Truly, you should be searching for Him daily, by yourself and with your family!