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"Adding Years to our Life?" - - by Rev. Weldon Bares

I came across this statement recently in the AARP Bulletin, not that I am admitting to being old enough to read it or belong to it. The statement was, “Attending religious services once a week has been shown to add between four and 14 years to life expectancy, according to researchers.” (March 2017, page 26)

Why is that true? Perhaps it’s because of the friendships and relationships formed in church. Perhaps it’s because of taking an hour to rest and relax. Perhaps it’s because of focusing our attention on our Creator, instead of ourselves. Maybe it is the time spent thinking about faith, instead of fear.

For whatever reason, it seems to be good for us physically, as well as spiritually.

Does it really add years to our life? Perhaps. But this I am sure of. It will add life to our years. Real life. Abundant life.

But sadly, church attendance in our nation is declining. Other things have become more important. I am so thankful that my parents never gave my brothers or me an option about going to church. We had to be there every single Sunday. All five of us today are grateful for that.

The writer of the letter of Hebrews encourages us, “Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together.” (Hebrews 10:25)

So let me gently encourage you to be in a place of worship this weekend. Take up this healthy habit. It is important for our families. It is important for our community and nation. Perhaps it’s important for our health. For sure, it is important for our soul, adding life to our years.

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