It is Sunday and if you are reading this within the next hour or so, you have time to get up, get dressed, and get to church.
You don't go to church?
What great things will you do then? Polish the silver? Watch a fishing show? Read the paper?
Come on. It won't hurt you. You might like it.
You say you can pray at home?
Of course you can. I hope you do. That's not the main reason you go. In fact, the level of praying at church is pretty lame compared to what you need to be doing on your own - BUT, you do it TOGETHER and that can be very powerful and encouraging.
You say you want three good reasons to leave this box we call a computer and go to church?
OK - I'll even add a bonus:
1) Someone there needs to see you and be encouraged by YOU! They need your handshake. They need to see your face.
2) The pastor will preach a better sermon to "those other folks" who need it if your unexpected body is sitting in a pew. You will encourage him/her by your presence.
3) God is blessed when His people gather to praise Him. This is actually a big, fat, hairy deal and a major motivator. After all, if you have a spark of faith, you already know that pleasing God is sort of a big thing.
Now, I promised a bonus and I believe in under-promising and over-delivering:
1) Someone is at church that you need to see, touch, and make contact with. You have some divine appointments in that community that will encourage you to the next level of your faith progress. Come on. Get dressed.
2) Something the pastor says will challenge, inspire, motivate, or convict you. I don't care how mature and insightful you are, how much you read on your own, and how much of a better job you could do, you can get something out of today's sermon if it is only the scripture reading in the power of the Spirit among a group of people gathered in Jesus' Name.
3) Your voice may be just what is needed to create critical mass in the congregational singing. You may make the difference between lackluster singing and a choral masterpiece to the glory of God - even if you can't carry a tune in a bucket.
Am I done?
Well, not quite.
For instance, there will be some challenges to action and ministry today that you need to plug into because you have certain gifts no one has. That church is doing some good in the hood and you can be part of it.
It will be fun, exciting, and rewarding - a whole lot better than reruns of Gumby and Pokey.
Finally, it is your family - whether or not you have met them. This is a group of people that love or will love you and you will learn to love them - and working out your "stuff" with and among them is the only way you will ever get it worked out - and they have some pretty ugly stuff to work out with you too. You can help and be a help. And as uncomfortable as that makes you feel, it can only be done in community.
And that is why God planned it that way and gave us the gift of the church and entrusted all His earthly business of any importance to it.
So ...get, get dressed, and get over there.