We’re told in Hebrews 10:25 to not “neglect meeting together, as is the habit of some.” It seems the writer of Hebrews already knew that there was a tendency to want to make excuses for not getting out of bed and meeting with other believers in a weekly worship service. It also seems that this command is grounded in the truth that of all the things we need on a weekly basis, the believer really needs to worship in a corporate meeting where we fellowship, pray, sing, and sit under and submit to the preaching of God’s Word.
That really is the truth, but it’s also true that there are times (for whatever reason) when a local church has to cancel its regular services. Thankfully those times are few and far between, but they do happen. This morning we’ve had to make the difficult decision to cancel services, obeying the civil authorities in this matter by advising people that it’s safest to stay in rather than try to drive on roads in increasingly deteriorating conditions. So we won’t be meeting like we normally would and should.
So the question next is, what should believers do when the church cancels a church service? Or to put it another way, how should we spend a Sunday when we’re unable to go to church? This is a question that most of us only have to answer maybe once or twice a year (if then), but for others (the sick, shut-ins, some of our elderly members who are unable to drive) this is a question that is far more regular. So what’s a church member to do?
Well, considering that we won’t be having services today I want to give you some suggestions. Amy is downstairs now cooking breakfast, so as one of your pastors here are some things I hope to do today when I’m spending a Sunday at home. Here are seven suggestions on how not to waste your Sunday:
1. Have a family worship service. Read the Bible together. Sing together. Pray together. As a family (regardless of your family size) the decision to cancel worship services should not be an excuse to toss your Bible on the nightstand and watch TV all day. Take some time to do what we would be doing together. It may even be a good idea to go back and read through all of Romans 8 with your family. Next week Toby will be preaching on Romans 8:30.
2. Study your Sunday School lesson for the day. Many of us have these books at home, but even if you don’t, you can access Sunday School materials online through Lifeway’s website. Doing this will allow you to also have some questions for discussion.
3. Watch or listen to a sermon online. I’d recommend going back and listening to last week’s sermon, or any of our other sermons from last week. If you missed Sunday night or Wednesday night, go back and listen to the audio from those sermons. You can also watch or listen live to lots of great preaching through television or live-streaming services online. Take advantage of technology.
4. Pray for missionaries, unreached people groups, and Christians all around the world.
5. Read. Pick up a Christian book. Read some articles. Read this article! I’ve also written several other articles this week, one I just posted last night meditating on God’s Word and the bad weather of March 2nd. The name of that article is “Sleeping in the Shadow of the Storm: A Meditation on Weather and the Word.” Read some of these articles. Pick up a good Christian book.
6. Spend time with your family. Don’t pass up the opportunity. Make memories together. Laugh together. Watch great movies together. Play board games together. Eat meals together. Just have great family time together!
7. Call someone you know to encourage them. Check on your neighbors. Call some of our church’s shut-ins. See if there are ways to minister to the people around you. See if you can help someone deal with the ice storm better. Be a blessing to someone.
However you spend your snowed-in Sunday, I encourage you take a time of Sabbath rest to worship God, to enjoy God, and to love and enjoy the people that God has placed in your life.
We won’t be having services this Sunday, but today shouldn’t be a wasted Sunday either. So spend your Sunday at home to the glory of God alone!