By Edward Short
Seeds sprout roots that grow down into the soil, smoke swirls upward toward the sky, rice seedlings produce rice, children grow up, students study, foxes eat chickens, mothers love their children, cars roll down hill—all of these are natural occurrences. Since they spring from the very nature of whom or what they are, none of these circumstances surprises us. The fact is, if seed doesn’t sprout roots that grow downward, if children don’t grow up, if foxes aren’t interested in chickens, or if a car rolls uphill by itself—those are the things that surprise us!

The attendance of Christians at worship is based on the same principle. It’s natural for Christians to worship God on Sundays, and we should think it very strange if a Christian has no interest in worshipping God.

Although I’m not a member of any political party, I do know that sometimes political parties have meetings. Republicans, Democrats, Communists, Nationalists and other such political entities all have meetings. Those in charge of the parties encourage their members to attend the meetings, and it’s only natural for them to do so. In the same way, it’s natural for Christians to attend worship.

Sometimes when I boil water for tea, if I’m not careful, and scald my hand, it’s only normal for me to yell “Ouch!” When their child makes the highest score on an exam, it’s quite normal for parents to express joy. Especially in Asia, how excited the in-laws are when a young lady gives birth to a son! If a common laborer leaves home for the big city, successfully opens his own business and accumulates a great deal of wealth, some people would not be surprised if he were to return home and found a school or build a hospital. Similarly, we should find it entirely consistent with nature for a Christian to attend worship each week and express gratitude to the God who has blessed him and has forgiven his sins.

When I get out of bed in the mornings, the fourth finger on my right hand is bent closed and is very difficult to open or straighten out. Since this is my body, it’s only normal for me to be concerned about my finger. People will think me abnormal if I don’t show concern about my own body.

Applying these examples to another aspect of human nature, Jesus Christ is part of my life. As a Christian, I believe that Jesus is with me every day; he’s the friend who is constantly near me. When I’m weak, Jesus encourages me; when I face challenges, Jesus helps me; when I’m in pain, Jesus comforts me. If I don’t attend church worship—Christian that I am—and thus feed my spiritual needs, it means that I have tossed to the wind the most important part of my own nature. Hence, we can see how necessary and how natural it is for me to worship God.

The Bible teaches Christians about worshipping God. In the book of Acts in the New Testament, we read that in the first century, the earliest Christians, “Day by day, as they spent much time together…” (Acts 2:46 NRSV). Unfortunately, twenty or thirty years later, there were some Christians who had given up the habit of meeting together. The reprimand that the Lord Jesus gave those Christians became part of the Bible content, and it serves as our instruction today. The Bible encouraged them with these words, “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…” (Hebrews 10:25 NRSV). From this we can see that the earliest Christians were instructed to assemble. Such assemblies included worship, praise and thanksgiving to God. Today, just as then, Christians attend worship assemblies. For Christians to worship God is just as natural as smoke rising, roots going down, and foxes chasing chickens!

I invite you to worship each Sunday the God who loves you.
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