I know. Really, I know.
Your toddler has been tantrumming all morning. Your teenager won’t get out of bed. You think the baby is coming down with a cold. You had an argument with your husband about the dishwasher. You were woken three times in the night by your kids. You’ve got to prepare lunch. You haven’t got time to wash your hair. You haven’t got a pair of jeans that fit as you haven’t lost that extra 5lbs. Oh, and you’ve run out of toilet roll.
You can’t find your Bible. You haven’t read it for a few days anyway – will somebody be able to tell? What if they ask you? You know your kids won’t sit quietly through the prayers. And they keep running off after the service when you know you need to know where they are. Your teenager is refusing to come with you. Your husband left an hour ago because he needed to get there early. Nobody will really notice if you don’t show up.
And if you do go, you’re likely to be asked to step into a kids’ group anyway, so you’ll miss the sermon. And you’ll get bombarded with questions about your mid-week ministry that you know you don’t have the energy to answer. And the baby will do a poo half-way through creche. And the kids’ group leader will speak to you about the behaviour of your 8-year-old afterwards. And – oh where did your four-year-old put their shoes?
And why won’t she stop asking you questions? You don’t know what shaped leaves dinosaurs ate, and why does it matter anyway? And now you’re going to be late – you’ll get those looks as you try to walk in unnoticed during the first song. And now someone’s spilled breakfast over your top. Probably better just to stay at home – you can always watch the live stream.
Hey mumma, no. Get to church. It will do you good. It will do others good. Church is God’s family. Christ gave his life for the church. God speaks through his word – and even if you only get to listen to five minutes of the sermon, or only the words of the songs, is God not powerful enough to work through that? God’s word will nourish you. It will sustain you. And who knows what conversation he may put you in, to build you up, or build somebody else up?
We are all cracked jars of clay. We are all broken. That’s why we go. God chose you, adopted you, loves you, gave his life for you. He doesn’t care what your hair looks like – he wants to spend time with you. You are not going for others, you are going for him. And seeking God in the brokenness, that is when his light shines through.