Updated: Dec 14, 2022
“ as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.”
The three years of Jesus’ ministry were marked by changing circumstance, a rise to fame, a time of popularity and a time of opposition. Without regard for the shifting sands of the masses, and at time heedless of the danger to himself, Jesus steadfastly stayed with his integrity of purpose and fidelity to his mission. On the sabbath, he was in the synagogue.
I agree with those who say they don’t need to be in a church to worship. However, to neglect to worship gives lie to such a profession. It is not the “where” that is was important to Jesus’ example. It is the “why”.
He was in the synagogue because it was a place of worship, and worship being essential to humanity, he was in a place known for worship to encourage worship. Being there loved or hated, was testimony to the constant fellowship and fidelity of God.
It doesn’t matter whether we are rejoicing, or wounded God is there for us. It may take more of an eye or an ear than we are ready to invest to see the divine hand on our shoulder, but it is there. Sometimes we don’t want to hear or to see. That does not discourage God or result in heavenly indifference to our plight.
For this unwavering fellowship God gives, should we give less than our utmost? If you wish to worship God wherever you find yourself, do so! But do it in spirit and in truth, not in a half-truth profession of pretended devotion.
Here is the importance of the church and synagogue; it reminds us of where we are, who we are, and why we are there. It helps to focus our attention, our heart, and our mind on what is truly important.
Worship of God is a healthy custom for all. To me custom speaks more about choice than habit or ritual. When worship is your choice, you are not going through the motions, you are engaged with the divine presence.
Each time we touch God, we come away changed for the better for ourselves and those we meet.