I Lost Something on Sunday Night

I lost something Sunday night.

The day had started with great anticipation. It was a nice spring day; and my family and I hurried off to worship service to spend a wonderful time in the Lord: praying, singing hymns, and hearing the teaching and preaching of the Word. Before and after the service, we also enjoyed the fellowship of the saints. We shook hands, swapped greetings, and engaged in hearty conversation with our friends in Christ. It was a spiritually refreshing time, and one of sweet communion with God and His people.

Afterwards, we headed home and girded our loins for the busy afternoon that lay ahead. My daughter, Jordan, was flying out to Lawrence, KS in a glorified “tin can with wings” to have lunch with a friend. My wife Sheri and I, much too practical for such high-flying adventure, charted a more responsible course and stayed home to do yard work and other pressing chores.

While Sheri worked outside pulling obstinate weeds from her flower beds, I parked myself in front of my computer (as I often do) to finish some graphic work on the church’s website and then design a brochure for an upcoming Bible conference. Later on in the day, I even hoped to mow the lawn. The plan was for me to wrap up all my work by six o’clock so I could head over to the men’s fellowship being held at 6:30 pm at a church member’s home.

But I never made it.

I had every intention of attending the meeting, especially after experiencing such an encouraging and edifying time of worship and fellowship at church that morning. But by five o’clock, I knew I was in trouble. I was scrambling to make up time when I accidentally crashed the church’s website with one of my ill-advised tweaks and it cost me precious minutes trying to fix the problem. By the time I rolled back the damage and restored the site to its original state, I knew I wouldn’t have time to mow my yard. The brochure project, however, was another matter. I had a deadline that couldn’t wait.

At six o’clock, I realized there was no way I was going to finish the brochure in time to make it to the fellowship meeting. Reluctantly, I called the host to say I wouldn’t be coming, and then I hung up the phone with a sigh and went back to my computer.

And that’s when I realized that I had lost something.

What I lost was a not-so-common opportunity for precious fellowship with my brothers in Christ. For the rest of the evening, while working on the brochure project, my spirit grieved. In this fleeting life, I wondered, how many chances would I have to share the love of Christ with others in the faith? What encouragement was I failing to hear tonight? What shared burdens was I failing to bear? There was no doubt in my mind that the Holy Spirit was poking at my heart with these sharp questions.

Suddenly I understood Paul’s palpable anguish when he wrote to the church at Philippi and said, “…How I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus,” or when he relayed to the Thessalonians that he and his companions “were all the more eager with great desire to see your face.” Paul understood the powerful connection that is found in those who have been joined together in the bonds of Christ to be one Body and one Church.

That’s why Christian fellowship is a biblical imperative. “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,” it says in Hebrews, “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” In Acts 2:42, it says the early church was “continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” How could we not do likewise?

That night, I repented of my woeful lack of time management and my worldly, skewed sense of priorities.

Yes, I lost something Sunday night. But thanks be to God that I can find it again when I go to my church’s Wednesday night fellowship, or when I attend worship service on Sunday, or travel to the men’s fellowship next month and so on and so on.

God willing, I won’t lose it again for a long time.

Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.  — Phillippians 2:1-2

3 Comments

  1. Matt Zion

    Thu 21st Apr 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Chris, we missed you Sunday evening as well, but I’m glad you invested the time in writing this for us to share in your renewed fervor for fellowship. It’s too easy to either undervalue fellowship or to overprioritize other things, but, as you’ve reminded us, our being together is vital to our ability to minister to one another… and be ministered to by one another.

  2. Tim Berry

    Fri 22nd Apr 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Chris,

    It’s good to remember that any one instance of missing time together in fellowship is a disasterous loss indeed! I feel this too the days I work and really don’t feel the loss sometimes until we’re back together again. It was good seeing you back Wednesday

  3. Carl Brewer

    Sun 24th Apr 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Chris,

    We brothers who were there missed something too–you not being there. You are absolutely right. We need to be connected to the body of believers in a physical sense too. Looking forward to fellowship on Wed.

Add comment