After worship last night, Joshua asked me: “Is church over?”
He spoke them as soon as the prayer had ended. It was about 6:45pm on Sunday evening. The brethren were about to stand and visit with one another before shuffling out the doors.
But church wasn’t over.
A lot of people (myself included) use the expression “go to church” or “at church” or “during church” or “after church is over” etc.
It’s an easy thing to say, but it’s not quite accurate. If you’re not careful, you could find yourself saying it in front of some cantankerous person who rakes you over the coal for it.
That wouldn’t be appropriate or Christian so that’s not how I handled it when my baby boy said it to me. Instead, I took it as a teaching opportunity.
I replied “No, worship is over; church never ends.”
And I left it at that.
I didn’t spend ten minutes explaining the nature of the kingdom and the concept of worship. He’s too young for all of that. Instead I planted a seed. I left him with something that I’m sure he didn’t dwell on, but may have gotten stuck in his brain for future pondering.
One day, when he’s older he’ll be able to understand the the “church” is the kingdom of Christ (Matthew 16:18-19) to which all Christians belong (being a Christian and being a member of Christ’s church are synonymous ideas) and “worship” is what citizens of that kingdom do, in fellowship with Christ, to bring honor to the Father as He commands (Ephesians 3:21).
We worship off and on, here and there, throughout the week. Especially do we worship on the first day of the week, as that is specifically the day set aside for God’s people to worship Him (Acts 20:7). But though worship starts and stops & begins and ends, the kingdom of Christ is forever.