Take Me Away

Take Me Away!
By: J. B. Hixson, Ph.D.

For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. (Psalm 84:10)

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a place we could go far away from our everyday routine to flee from the troubles, pressures, and anxieties of this temporal life? I am picturing a refuge filled with gorgeous white sands, exquisite sunsets, and the soothing sound of waves gently breaking on the beach. And while we are dreaming, wouldn’t it be wonderful if such a blissful haven was readily available and easily accessible whenever we needed it? Think about it. You come home from a stressful day at work, change clothes, hop in your interdimensional transporter, and travel at warp speed to a heavenly hideout for a weekend getaway, sheltered from life’s harsher side.

If I could design such a place it would be free from all telephones and mobile devices. There would be no e-mail, social media, or texting. No one would come knocking at my door asking for a minute of my time. The nearest television set would be miles away.  It would be a place of comfort and rest, a place to rejuvenate my soul and prepare for another week of mental and physical challenges. It would be an opportunity to feed my spirit and set aside, if only briefly, my busy, earthly life. What a place that would be!

Guess what? We have just such a place. It’s called the church. At least once a week we have the opportunity to assemble together with other weary wayfarers and focus on what we cannot see. True, the church may be located on a concrete slab off of Main Street instead of a tropical paradise, but once inside, church-goers find themselves transported to a spiritual realm by way of praise and worship, biblical proclamation, prayer, and Christian fellowship.

When we gather at the church it allows us to set aside our daily pressures while we contemplate the greater truths of life. Corporate worship within the local church provides an avenue for spiritual nourishment and rejuvenation. Attending church is vital because Christians are not intended to live in a vacuum. God made us in such a way that we are interdependent upon one another. We need each other.

The Psalmist understood the importance of regular corporate worship. He wrote, “For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.” (Psalm 84:10) This ancient hymn-writer, one of the sons of Korah, realized that remaining close to the Lord was only possible through regular fellowship in God’s house. Growth in the Lord, he proclaimed, was made possible by seeking God’s glory through the temple festivities.

Likewise, believers today need to seek the presence and glory of the Lord through regular weekly worship. To be sure, the church is not the only source for God’s glory. God’s glory can be found every day in the simple things in life. Yet, if the church is functioning as God intends for it to function, it will provide a special measure of spiritual sustenance and a glimpse of the eternal realm that cannot be found anywhere else.

A believer who neglects church attendance will remain spiritually immature and will miss out on the special blessings that come from taking those regular trips to our heavenly hideaway. Need a break? Need to get away? Forget Calgon, try meeting me in church this Sunday.

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