When you started confirmation in sixth or seventh grade, did you ever think, “I can’t wait to get confirmed so that maybe I will go to Divine Service and the Lord’s Supper once or twice a year”? Probably not. Yet, how often do we see members of our congregations go through the “duty” of getting confirmed and then not making use of the privilege of approaching the Lord’s Table and making use of His means of grace and being lavished with His gifts in Divine Service.
Perhaps what may be even more amazing is when someone who does not use their spiritual license and then wants to blame someone else. “I don’t like the pastor.” “I don’t like so and so.” “I am upset about something.” It will be interesting when they stand before God and make such excuses, what will God’s reaction be? “Sorry, but you have a mind of your own and you are responsible for yourself, nice try!”
But, maybe you do use your spiritual license and maybe you believe you use it on a regular basis. Unfortunately, we live in a world in which we need to define terms, so what does “regular” mean. Certainly we would have to agree that attending divine service twice a year might be defined as regular, as would attending once a month, but is that what God means when He says to remember the Sabbath* day. Remember, even Jesus “usual custom”, we are told, was to be in the synagogue, to be in prayer, etc. When Jesus tells us to “remember the Sabbath” day He means that we are to make regular, each and every Sunday and diligent, whenever offered, use of the means of grace, being in divine service every Sunday and other opportunities and making use of the means of grace. Remember, God’s usual ways of coming to us to give to us is through the means of grace, His Word, Holy Baptism, Confession and Absolution, and His Holy Supper. Because these are the means He has given to us to come to us to give to us, why would we want to be anyplace else except where His means are in use and His gifts are being delivered?
“Do you have to go to church to be a Christian?” No, but a Christian, a true Christian will want, more than anything else, to be where the gifts of God are being delivered, in divine service.
*rest (not Saturday)