Reasons to Worship Together

With our very busy lives, regular attendance at church can sometimes takes a back seat to other activities.

In order to justify our actions, we start to ask questions like, “Do I really need to go to church every week?”  After missing several weeks in a row, we might start saying, “I’m a really good person and my relationship is between me and God, so it’s not necessary for me to go to a physical building.”

This weekend was the feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.  In the first reading from Genesis (14:18-20), the priest Melchizedek blesses Abram (who will later be called Abraham) over a meal of bread and wine.  Within the Christian church, we see  this ancient rite as a prefigurement to Jesus’ Eucharistic meal.

In the second reading from 1Corinthians (11:23-26), Paul tells us exactly what the risen Jesus told him directly.  Paul says, “I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for youDo this in remembrance of me.’” Jesus did the same thing with the cup and goes on to say, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.”

Jesus is very clear when speaking to Paul and to us when he said, “Do this in remembrance of me.”  It sounds to me like this is something that Jesus is asking us to do on a regular basis.

Is Jesus attempting to bring us together as a community?  Yes.

Is he asking us to remember that he literally sacrificed his body and blood because of his love for us?  Yes. This was a choice freely made because of his love for us.

In the reading from Luke’s Gospel (9:11b-17), we hear the very familiar story of Jesus and the 5 loaves and 2 fish that Jesus turns into enough food to feed about five thousand people and still has enough left over to fill 12 wicker baskets. Jesus not only wanted to nourish the crowd with his Words, but he desired to nourish their bodies too.

We’re called to  worship together for many reasons:

  • We come to church on a weekly basis to be nourished with the Word of God.
  • We come to be physically and spiritually nourished with the bread and wine – the body and blood of Jesus.
  • We come together to be united within a small community of believers who are a part of the universal Body of Christ.  Unity.

When we’re together, we’re complete.  When isolated from others and from God, we’re incomplete.  Like the physical body has many members, the universal Body of Christ has many members too.  Each of us is an extremely valuable member of this body!

The opening line from today’s reading from Luke says, “Jesus spoke to the crowds about the kingdom of God, and he healed those who needed to be cured.”  We provided the bread and fish, but it is God who creates the abundance to feed the crowd and still has more left to give.  In every aspect of our lives, we must contribute something, but it is God who gives what we lack.  God will provide us with what we need when we admit that we need help and want to be healed.

As humans we’re hungry for something that many of us are not satisfying with regular food (regardless of how much we eat) and regular words (regardless of how much we read).  We’re  hungry for spiritual food and spiritual words –  the Word of God. It is only through God that we are satisfied and complete.

Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.  This is the food and Word that satisfies.

Come together to be nourished. Come together to nourish others.

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