Should I Go To Church Every Week?

The answer to the above question is a resounding "Yes." For the Lord has given this commandment, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." To keep the Sabbath day holy is to set it apart for the Lord's purposes, that is, for the Sabbath rest that He gives to His Church in His Word and Sacraments. Jesus said, "Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) In the midst of the turmoil and confusion and hectic pace of our lives, it is essential that we heed God’s Word and weekly seek this heavenly rest.

The meaning to the Third Commandment states, "We should fear and love God that we may not despise preaching and His Word but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it." Those who cannot set aside even one hour a week for the Divine Service of the Lord's preaching and His Supper show that they are in fact despising God's Word, through which the Holy Spirit sustains and strengthens the Church in the saving faith.

To avoid attending the Divine Service on a weekly basis in favor of other activities and pursuits is also a breaking of the First Commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”For this commandment teaches us that we are to "fear, love, and trust in God above all things." Whatever becomes more important to us than the Lord and His Word has become a false god and an idol in our lives, despite our rationalizations to the contrary. Those who show up in the Lord's house only when it happens to fit into their schedule or when they “feel like it” demonstrate that their hearts do not really trust in Christ but in themselves and their own wisdom and strength. They have made of themselves an idol! Their help is not in the name of the Lord but in themselves and in the things of this world.

Each year we remember and celebrate our Lord’s birth. His entrance into this world was for the sole purpose of winning for you redemption from sin, death, and everlasting condemnation. But without coming to Church to hear His Word and partake of the Sacraments you are in effect cutting yourself off from the blessings that Jesus’ life, suffering, death and resurrection have earned for you. Jesus did not die just to win salvation for you, He has risen and now your Risen Savior desires to give those blessings to you each and every Lord’s Day.

Do not forget the great blessings that our Lord desires to pour out on you each week in the Divine Service. He freely grants to you the forgiveness of your sins. He gives to you His new life by which you are made able to live “in faith toward God and fervent love toward one another.” All the bounty of heaven is here present for you to receive. Here the eternal, saving benefits of the holy death of Christ are delivered to you by grace.

Living in communion with Him and with His Church, you will truly be able to say with the Psalmist, "I was glad when they said to me, 'Let us go into the house of the Lord.'"(Psalm 122:1)