While driving down the road today, I saw a billboard sign that depicted a family washing their car. The advertisement was for a church and said, “Busy? We now have a 5 p.m. service!”
As a working, single mom, I understand busy. I also understand that weekends are usually more for errands and cleaning the house than anything fun or relaxing. But this billboard just rubbed me the wrong way.
This church is actually scheduling their service times around people’s lives instead of the other way around. What is so important about having a clean car, a clean house, grocery shopping- or anything else you can think of- that it ranks higher than coming to the house of the Lord?
My pastor always talks about giving the first fruits (not the leftovers) of our time and money to the Lord. The first of the week is Sunday, and we come to church in the morning at 10 a.m. I don’t get up and go grocery shopping, wash my car, or do laundry before church – I go to church and give God the first of my time.
The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring to the house of the LORD your God. -Exodus 34:26
There’s nothing inherently wrong with going to church at 5 p.m. I go at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Maybe you have to work Sunday mornings and 5 o’clock is the only time that you can make it to service. Well then by all means, come at 5!
I realize that I may sound stringent, but my point is this: if we are simply choosing to sleep in or do other things instead of coming to church, then we are prioritizing that over our time with God.
Like the old saying goes, “It’s not a sacrifice of praise if it doesn’t cost you anything.” Getting up and getting to church in the morning might cost you some sleep. It might cost you a little of your sanity trying to get kids ready and out the door on time. It might cost you having to rearrange things that you want or need to do on Sundays.
But if we get into the habit of saying, “Nothing is going to come before God, and I’m going to put him first,” then everything else will fall into its proper place, and we’ll be blessed.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. -Matthew 6:33