Why attend Church

Why Attend Church?

Can God’s Temple be Duplicated at Home? 

Over the years I have met people who have chosen not to join a church, choosing, rather, to “worship” at home. Some have convinced themselves church is a waste of time, and feel they can be close to God while staying home on a Sunday morning. Others believe none of the churches teach the bible according to their own interpretation, and choosing to worship in the privacy of their own home, assure themselves they won’t have to hear any false teachings.

Some people have chosen to stay away from church because of past conflict with a clergyman, or perhaps got tired of hearing pleas for money, and have convinced themselves that giving to a charity is money better spent (in reality, church goers tend to outspend non-church goers in charitable giving).

In truth, God has given us the Church as the very place wherein we can grow spiritually, while enjoying the protection, and the blessings, of being in weekly contact with other believers. Just like an earthly family, we don’t always enjoy the presence of other members, but it is often those difficult and uncomfortable moments that help us grow the most. As well, there are blessings that would never be experienced, should we remain apart from fellow Christians.

In Luke 4:16, we read that Our Lord Jesus Christ was regularly in the temple, for “He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom.” It was Christ’s regular practice to go to church, “As he always did on the Sabbath, he went to the meeting place.” If Our Lord Jesus made it a priority to meet together with other believers, how can we excuse ourselves from doing the same.

Perhaps the most important reason for weekly church attendance lies in the fact that it is only in the Church where we can receive Holy Communion, for Our Lord went so far as to say that unless we eat of His flesh, and drink of His blood, we will have no life in us (John 6:53). It is in the reception of Holy Communion where we receive the grace needed to grow spiritually, and where we are empowered to live in all holiness and truth.

Finally, the neglect of corporate worship grieves the Holy Spirit who lives within the individual believer and the Church as a whole, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30)”.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

About the author

Fr. Tryphon is the Abbot of the Monastery of the All-Merciful Saviour, which was established in 1986 by Archimandrite Dimitry (Egoroff) of blessed memory. The Monastery is under the omophore of His Eminence Kyrill, Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America, of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

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