Words by Scott McCullar | Image by Al Blanton
I was five years old when I watched the movie Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back on the big screen. It was the first movie I ever remember seeing at a local theater. I was amazed, engrossed, transfixed. I loved every moment of the film and then loved the Star Wars universe from that point forward. Funny thing was, I had never seen the original Star Wars that had been released a few years prior. Empire was the sequel and I had never watched the first one.
My mother decided to remedy that as Star Wars was brought back into theaters before the release of the highly anticipated Star Wars: Return of the Jedi in 1983. Understand that back in those days, there was no DVD, VHS, nor Netflix. It was theater or nothing. She told me that we would go to the movies on a Sunday afternoon following church that morning with my grandmother. Still dressed in my best churchy clothes, off to Tuscaloosa we went.
Popcorn and Coke in hand, I told Mom I wanted to sit at the very front row of the theater, and I raced down to that seat towards the screen. However, the carpet ended at about row 4 and as soon as my dress shoes hit that slick, hard floor, my feet slipped out from under me and down went my body while the popcorn and Coke flew into the air. My head made a sick cracking sound as it hit the hard floor and the popcorn rained down on me like buttery snow while all the cola splashed right in my face.
Sticky, greasy, sore, and now with a headache, I went back to my mom. After checking me from head to toe, she asked if I wanted to just go home.
“No way,” I said. “Are you kidding? This is Star Wars, Mom!”
And I sat there and was transported into another world as spaceships, lightsabers, Jedi, and Wookies flashed into my vision.
If there is something you truly want to do, you won’t let anything get in the way. No matter the trouble or trial, a person will usually try to overcome every obstacle to do what they love—from football to fishing.
However, if there is an activity you would rather avoid, any little excuse will work to try to get out of it.
Take going to worship with a church, for instance. What a blessing it truly is to be able to gather with the Saints, sing praises to God, who gives salvation freely through Jesus His Son, and hear an inspiring Word from the inspired Word of God. We should love to be a part of corporate worship.
But it seems like so many will use any excuse not to go. Maybe the preaching, singing, and amenities are not professional grade, but the God who we worship is the same One who created the universe and sustains it. He is the same God who sent Jesus to die on a Roman cross and then rise from the dead so you could be forgiven. He is the same God who sends the Holy Spirit to dwell in us as Christians. Wow!
As a follower of Jesus, surely we wouldn’t allow any barrier to keep us from worshiping Him alongside other believers! Hebrews 10:24-25 reads, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Corporate worship is a big deal, and you are invited to be a part of it! You get to go to church!
So, this Sunday, find a place to gather and worship Jesus with other followers. Encourage others to go with you to sing and hear wonderful words of life. Be excited about it and let nothing stand in your way!
And when some asks you if trouble or trial will stop you from attending, say “No way! Are you kidding? This is church y’all!” WL
Scott McCullar is the Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church of Carbon Hill in Carbon Hill, Alabama.