SUNDAY IS WAR
As I continue to reflect on my time in Ethiopia, I am struck by some truths that I’ve long held but needed to be reminded of. Truths that shape and transform our collective understanding of things. Truths that beckon us to try on a life fitting for the upward call of Christ. One of those truths was the purpose and power of our Sunday gathering.
Let me saying it simply; Ethiopians don’t gather to be pacified or comforted, they gather to declare war. They understand the opposition is great but their Savior is greater. They know that their battle is not won by the efforts of the flesh but by the work of the Spirit. In other words, they go hard after God because, for them, there is no thing and no one greater. The Sunday gathering is their rally cry to nourish them for their missional calling. It reminds them of who they are by preaching who Christ is. It empowers their hearts and strengthens their weak knees to walk faithfully in God’s world, as God’s ambassadors, for God’s glory and fame. In this way, they reenlist for war every week, in every song and every prayer. I was reading an article this morning that captured this idea:
And yet, the simple act of going to church—I’m assuming here a church who preaches the gospel and declares that Jesus Christ is King—is in and of itself a declaration of war. When your weary legs rise for another verse of the chorus and you offer praise to the King of kings and Lord of lords, you are saying, in effect, that the reigning prince of the power of the air, Satan (Eph. 2:2), is really not the king he thinks he is. There is another King, another Kingdom and it’s coming one day in its fullness and power. When you gather with your fellow believers and worship Christ, you are saying to the rest of the world that man is not ultimate. You are saying that the great movements of this world may have some power, but ultimately they are part of God’s gathering of history to himself and for his kingdom. When you worship the risen Christ every Sunday at your church, you are telling the world that in your life, for this moment, Christ is ultimate. He is to be worshipped above all else. You’re making a statement that there is someone deserving of more adulation and worship than the lesser things to which we pledge allegiance. You’re inviting them to ask you, “Why do you think the kingdom of God is better than the kingdom of man? What is it about Christ that gets you to roll out of bed, get dressed, get your family dressed, hop in the car, and go to church every single Sunday?”
This is why the regular, faithful gathering of God’s people, week by week, is so incredibly important. We are at war and the preached word, sung songs, shared communion, fellowship, and giving of our first-fruits, reminds us and empowers us to fight the fight of faith with all the means we have at our disposal.
Sunday is not a social club. It is not a chaplaincy. It is not a therapy group. It is not entertainment. It is not a hobby. And we are not observers, consumers, audience members, or patients. We are God’s people who live for God’s purposes in God’s power so that God’s plans are fully accomplished in God’s world.
So I invite you to gather with your siblings on Sunday. And may God refocus and redirect our expectations so that we experience the power of his redeeming work in our church and city.
See you Sunday!
This post is republished material from Mars Hill Church for teaching and archive purposes only.