I am no stranger to allergies. I have been allergic to things like chocolate, BBQ sauce, MSG, cow milk and cheese (including anything that has these in them, like pizza and ice-cream). Some of these are past allergies and some are current. You may be thinking, “How could you possibly live without _______?!?” When eating these foods results in a migraine headache, it’s amazing how much less appealing they become. On the bright side, I have never had animal or outdoor allergies.
My allergies are strange, but I recently learned of some that are even more bazaar. There are people out there who are actually allergic to water! People with this allergy are only able to be in contact with water for about 10 seconds per week before breaking out in hives (like showering). Some people are even allergic to things like sunlight, excessive vibrations, money (specifically to the metal used), and even cell phones (because of the nickel content in them). One kid is allergic to so many types of foods that he has to be fed through a tube and the only the he can ingest by himself is a certain brand of lemonade (Yahoo News).
People certainly have strange allergies, but there is one that tops them all. It is the “allergy” to church and worship. This is a very strange “allergy,” but it is one that is all too common. It’s amazing how people are full of vibrant energy all week (even the night before), and then all of a sudden are “too tired” to make it to worship. Then there are those who never seem to get sick, but when it’s time for church, suddenly they “don’t feel well enough to come.” It also seems to effect memory, because people abruptly remember “tasks they had to get done” that day.
While some have developed this “church allergy,” ironically, what is needed to cure it is the church and worship! The reason we come to church is to battle eternally threatening sicknesses. One cannot stay spiritual healthy and be apart from the Lord’s Church. We come to church to be fed spiritually (Romans 10:17; 2 Peter 3:18). We come to church to glorify God and strengthen our relationship with Him (1 Corinthians 6:20; Psalm 50:22-23). We come to church so the elders can more effectively watch over us and protect us (Hebrews 13:17). All of this was put into place by God to keep us from falling away into sin and becoming spiritually sick.
Hopefully it’s understood that there is no such thing as a “church allergy.” It’s really just an attitude problem. Even though we develop this attitude sometimes, let’s keep focused the long-term health benefits (i.e. heaven, salvation, grace, etc). For this reason, coming to worship should be viewed as a privilege. We should WANT to come. Let’s always try to imitate the attitude in Psalm 122:1, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD.’”