Sometimes I think it takes the extraordinary to help us appreciate the ordinary.
I grew up attending mainline protestant churches from the time I was young. My family attended a Methodist Church somewhat regularly when I was small. After some family changes, my family attended the big, local Presbyterian Church (USA) every Sunday – almost never missing. We were that much sought-after, two-hour family: we always went for Worship and Sunday School. I think I even wore my prom dress to church the next morning. It was our family’s way.
In college, I tried, but failed to regularly attend from my first year until my final year when I had a car (and driver’s license). Once I started attending again, it was a regular thing, I almost never missed attending. When I had my babies and the doctors recommended waiting to attend, I listened with my first – it was six weeks! I never waited that long again to be with the people of God on the Lord’s Day.
Oh, yes. My husband and I changed churches after we were married. We were looking for a conservative, Reformed church that espoused the Doctrines of Grace and was serious about how we are changed by Christ himself. When we found that, in a local OPC congregation, we immediately fell in love. But, they had this odd thing: Evening Worship. What on earth is that about? Same service? Different? It’s such a long day, going back seemed a bit excessive. It’s a little bit of culture-shock.
We tried Evening Worship now and again, but my family gathers for Sunday Dinner and the afternoon, so that is a long day already and we were tired and ready to go home. The idea, though, hung around our heads and hearts for 12 years. We had babies and toddlers and preschoolers.
Finally, we bit the bullet. In January of 2013, we started attending Evening Worship at our church. Twice the fellowship, twice the community, twice being greeted and blessed by God our Father, twice hymning him as the angels do above, twice the teaching of the Word. Our congregation offers the Lord’s Supper twice a month – once in the morning and once in the evening – so we are fed two times as much.
I can’t say how much I love attending worship twice on the Lord’s Day. Our day is bookended by being in His presence and worshipping Him. Is it easy? No. Do we sometimes wish we were going home instead? Yes. Do we ever regret going? NEVER.
In a month with five Sundays, we don’t gather on the fifth Sunday. I missed gathering to worship last night; an extraordinary occurrence that forced me to Embrace the Ordinary.
How are you Embracing the Ordinary? Why don’t you tell us and share with Gina?