Have you noticed that the weather is getting much colder? Of course you have as soon as you open the door in the morning it hits you. Most people hate the cold but a few of us love it and look forward to the cool crisp winter air. Regardless of you personal climate preferences a good hot fire sure feels good when you come in out of the cold. Or when you get in the car and place your hands over the heater vents and within seconds the feeling comes back in your fingers. That warm soothing effect quickly overcomes a long exposure to the cold.
The corporate worship of the Church should have the same effect on believers. After a few day out in the world our spirit craves the warm fire of fellowship around the Word. If we stay out to long we will start to loose some feeling in our extremities. That’s when a quick warm up is needed in order to keep us going. After just an hour or two with the saints we begin to feel better and the cares of the world don’t seem as harsh as they did when we first came in.
The cold is not dangerous as long as we dress for it and limit our exposure to it. There’s a parallel to the Christian life here as well. When you aren’t prepared for the world and you spend to much time in it, the world can have an adverse affect on you just like the cold does. If you fail to meet with the Lord and his people on a regular basis you will start to loose some feelings. If you neglect these warning signs, you could end up with spiritual frost bite! There’s no shortage of testimonies from those who stayed away to long and now have some lasting scars to show for it. So don’t get to far away from the fire.
Even the Apostle Paul had this desire for fellowship. He wrote in Romans 1:11-12 “For I long to see you,…that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.” He knew that his presence would be for their encouragement and they would likewise encourage him. That is the way church works. It is beneficial to attend regularly for encouragement and to be encouragement to others. As the world grows colder and colder toward God it is comforting to know we have a warm church to attend.