Both my wife and I are periodically away from each other. Not often and rarely for very long. But sometimes. Some of those trips and meetings away are unexciting and the kind of thing that nobody is going to look forward to that much. The sort of thing that creates more hassle than it does joy for doing it. But there are other things that, on paper at least, are that much more exciting. They are the sort of thing that one would or should ordinarily enjoy.
But both my wife and I seem to feel the same way about them. More often than not, we just wish we could be enjoying it together and without the hassle of the particular thing that has led us to be there. That’s not to say it isn’t an enjoyable thing nonetheless. But I certainly always feel it would be more enjoyable and just better if she was there. There are a few exceptions – mainly centring around sporting events – but the point holds otherwise.
I find something similar so far as churches go too. I love our church and I miss it when I’m not there. As enjoyable as it can be meeting with other believers in other places – and I do often really enjoy it – I tend to find, these days, I miss our church more. I always just wish I was back with our people, in our church.
You, of course, might feel your spouse is better company than me and my wife. You might think your church is more enjoyable than mine. And truth be told, I hope you do. These are the sort of subjective things that we rightly ought to think. If I don’t find the company of my wife better than hanging out with my pals, I might be looking at some serious marital problems and if I find every other church better than my own, and can’t wait to go to them all the time, trouble is brewing so far as my membership goes.
But I wonder how many of us feel these things particularly in relation to our churches? Do we love our church that much? Of course it might sometimes irritate us and wind us up. But when it comes down to it, do you want to be with it? Do you feel like you are missing something when you’re not with it? This is the sort of love we ought to have the place Jesus has put us in.