Don’t miss what God is doing

Were Jesus healing the sick at church this Sunday morning, it is likely that the pews would be full. If we knew in advance that he would be casting out devils at weekly Bible study, we’d all be there to watch. If perhaps, as we sang, tongues of fire appeared from person to person, and the lonely and poor found family among us, we’d be sure to attend every time.

The reality is that when we gather, all these things do happen. Maybe all of them don’t happen at every service or meeting. But they do happen, and often. Sometimes subtly, sometimes dramatically.

But we have to be there to be part of it. If we sit alone at home, there is very little possibility that we’re going to experience much of God because there is no such thing as a Lone Ranger Christian. Sadly, Lifeway research reports that as of 2022 one in four pre-COVID churchgoers is still missing. I say with confidence, if you or I deny the regular assembling of the church, no matter what excuse we might give, we are missing out on the best stuff Jesus is doing.

How can we know this is true?

Well, the scriptures speak very plainly about these things, and they don’t care about our excuses, our lazy desire for sleep, our inability to forgive others, or our preference to do yardwork or binge watch Disney Plus or “get a needed day off” instead of gathering with the saints.

Hebrews speaks thus: “Do not forsake the assembling of the church!” Jesus seems to think it’s important as well, as he says in the gospel of Matthew, “Where two or three are gathered, I am also in your midst.” Not alone at home, watching a YouTube or Facebook service, safe and secure from what the Holy Ghost might bring up on us if we dare out into the public. Two or three. Assembly. These ideas express plurality, not singularity.

Acts chapter two illustrates the same thing. Jesus specifically told the church to gather and promised the coming of the Holy Spirit when they did. And boy did he fulfill that promise! As they were praying, together, the power of God showed up and incredible things happened. These are things we don’t want to miss! It’s difficult to see the Lord moving among people if we’re not with…people.

What was the result of their gathering and the advent of the Spirit? There was epic teaching of the truth. They hung out and ate together, and they prayed too. They felt a sense of awe as miracles were taking place when they met! They shared their stuff so that nobody had need. They were filled with gladness, singing together, praising God, and seeing new folks show up and meet Jesus regularly.

Folks! I say this as if a crazy man: Jesus said he’d be there when we meet! He promised that the Holy Spirit would also show up! That’s church, and we don’t want to miss it!

I remember 32 years ago when I attended a church service for the first time. I was nineteen years old and hadn’t grown up with church or the Bible. I met Jesus in my bedroom all by myself after reading portions of a Bible that a friend gave me. Shortly after that I was invited to a church by a friend who I worked with at a fast food restaurant. What the heck, I thought, let’s see what goes on in there. I’d always wondered.

I entered and was overwhelmed. People were singing, embracing one another, laughing. Others were crying or lying on the floor, silent. Sometimes there was food, sometimes it was loud, sometimes it was still, sometimes it was chaos. Every time, though, something was there and we knew it. Someone was there. When we came, He always came, and it was palpable. I was hooked, and began approaching each day of my life, especially those that involved meeting with other Christians, wondering what amazing things God was going to do that particular day.

All these years later I still feel that way. Church is hard, I get it. People smell bad and rub you the wrong way and it’s overwhelming, maybe too hot or too cold or too whatever. They’re dumber than us or smarter than us or prettier than us or uglier than us. They’re richer than us or poorer than us or kinder than us or meaner than us, and we have to deal with all of it. That’s the joy of the mess of church. But in the midst of that mess is the promise that God will meet us. He expresses himself through our mess and makes beauty out of it. That’s perhaps the greatest way we experience him – in the joy and pain of community! And it’s there that we see the tongues of fire appear and God performs his wonders.

So what are you waiting for? Find a good church, put on your crash helmet, and get ready! God is going to do something amazing, and you’ll be part of it.

This Week’s Calendar

Click above for a list of groups meeting this week.

Upcoming Events

We meet every Sunday at 10:00 am
to worship God together, and throughout the week in home groups all over the city. Please click the link to the left for a complete schedule of home groups.

Our Community

At VCC, we believe that church is not a function: it is a family. Our religion is only as alive as we are, the people that pursue it. So, rather than acting as an organization, we want to act as an organism. We have no time for casual contacts and meaningless formalities. We are a fellowship on an adventure towards the stuff of God. Church means worshipping God together, studying the Bible together, fixing our cars together, hiking together, eating together, playing together, praying together... enjoying the warmth of the Holy Spirit in all parts of our lives together, not just in appointed meeting times.