I remember the first time I got absolutely gobsmacked with the world-wide nature of being The Church.
Beloved and I were on our first cross-cultural mission experience. On Sunday morning in David, Panama, we sat in what was used as a lottery office the rest of the week. We sang songs. (Well, we hummed along to songs that were sung in Spanish.) We prayed. We read Scripture. And as we ate the bread and drank the juice that reminded us of the sacrifice of Jesus, I happened to glance at my watch and realized that folks back in the church in Indiana where I was serving at the time were eating and drinking at that very time as well.
And an overwhelming sense of unity with all Jesus-followers across the expanse of both space and time burst my heart wide open.
And now, years later, Yahweh brings to my attention a little ditty by Carolyn Arends called Any Given Sunday. It reminds me of all the things people are missing out on when they decide they don't need to be part of a church family.
Truth is...I've been tempted to get depressed lately at seeing so many get so comfortable in NOT gathering together as a church community ("as is the habit of some" Hebrews 10:25). There is a pervasive take-it-or-leave-it attitude that reveals our consumer orientation toward corporate worship. Granted, there are many a local congregation that fall far short of the goal of true fellowship and mutual encouragement, but it will NEVER happen if people who desire those things stay away. If I'm not part of the solution, then I'm part of the problem.