There it was on my lip. I was sitting watching TV and I suddenly felt a tingling sensation on the left side of my upper lip. I knew what was about to happen! I was going to look like I took an excessive amount of botox on my upper lip! I had to preach tomorrow!
I started to stress out! I was called to do pulpit supply for a church in Fennville, MI. These people had never seen me before and I was going to look ridiculous! After about 30 minutes my wife said it was looking worse and maybe I should go to the emergency room. I reluctantly did. They did exactly what I suspected... nothing. I was prescribed Benadryl and sent on my way.
It was now 1am on Saturday night and I'm walking through Walmart self consciously pressing my lips together so no one would notice. I paid without saying a word and went home.
I prayed that night that it would be gone in the morning and when I woke up... it was still there.
I got ready, got in the car and sent a voice text to the Pastor that I was on my way but explained what had happened and what I looked like. He said I should stay home and rest and to be honest, a part of me was glad he did. I told him I could still make it but he rescheduled my preaching for another Sunday.
Are you allergic to church? Do you find yourself not making it to Sunday service because you are afraid of what people are thinking? Do you keep from sharing your life with your church family because of what they make think of you? Are you allergic to having meaningful relationships in your congregation? Are you glad when you have an excuse not to go to church?
When we do this to ourselves, we are missing out on the wonderful creation of God called church. We are the body of Christ and we all need each other.
In Romans 12:4-10, Paul said it best, "For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. "
There is definitely a purpose for you position in your church body and we need to be more diligent to spend our time living that purpose out. Likewise, when we are in need, the rest of the body is there to speak the Word into our lives, serve us, teach us, encourage us and lead us deeper into our calling and faith.
Usually when people are sick they stay home from church. When I was sick I went to the hospital. Why would we stay home from the one place God created for us to be one? The place where we can find comfort and healing, strength and Godly training, friendship and family? The place where we are needed the most and can find what we need the most?
The next time you find yourself skipping church because you are having an allergic reaction, maybe that's the exact time you should be showing up!