April 26, 2017

Visitors In Season

I arrived at a church at 9:15 a.m. for the scheduled 9:30 service only to read in the bulletin that the start time was 9:45. In fairness to the members, when they entered the auditorium they greeted me warmly; however, their normal routine was to have fellowship and cafĂ© in the foyer prior to worship. I’ll be honest, I felt like a guest who misread the invitation and arrived 30 minutes early to the party where the host wasn’t quite ready and didn’t know what to do with me. Paul charged Timothy, “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction” (2 Tim 4:2 NIV). I’m beginning to think mature believers are more capable and comfortable with testimonials, meditations and witnessing than we are playing host to a visitor.

3 comments:

Steve Corey said...

Gail;

-----I think we too much fail at playing host to the Lord. If He is alive in us, then indeed we are hosts. And it seems to me enough that we drag Him through the senseless chit-chat of the week: aunt Nelly’s cookies, cousin Tom’s Mustang, the movie we saw Friday night, and whether or not Donald Trump will ever act like a “good” American by submitting to the Democrats. Worse yet, when we gather on Sunday to worship Him (Jesus, not The Don) we drag Him through even more of the same: grandma’s great jelly, Billy-Bob’s giant bass, some stupid Hemingway poem, and how well the Patriot’s showed the Falcon’s to actually be “the Atlantis Falcons”. Gee! When do we ever get to talk about the Lord? Only when somebody just broke a leg? No. We talk about the doctor then. Or when someone’s got a bad case of depression? No. The psychologist, then. Oh yah, that’s right! We get to talk about the Lord for a few minutes towards the end of Sunday school. But then we get admonished to not be so truthful with the outsiders as to hurt their feelings, spoiling their sense of welcome.
-----I would think having been raised unto an unending life of pure, blissful perfection would set a group of people off to constantly chatting about the Lord and His word and when we get there and the history of mankind (because history is the stirring wake of His movements amongst mankind.) It seems to me that minds made of new life in the Lord would naturally include Him in all the topics of their chit-chat, since He is more real than anything else there is to chit-chat about. So I would think our minds would gravitate to that like nails to a magnet. And I would especially think preachers, elders, church leaders, and whatever you call those guys who’re first to the church for making coffee and such would hardly be able to restrain themselves from sitting and chatting about recent thoughts and experiences of Jesus.
-----But no. Finding a good conversation about the Lord in this culture’s like tripping over a snow cone in the summer desert. I guess that’s why so many church’s are making coffee shops of their foyers; they think snow cones just appear there. But what the influential in the church need to do is hang around those coffee shops with chatting about the Lord on their minds. Either that or they’ll need to make next to them good hardware stores. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Col 3:16) “Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another; the LORD heeded and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and thought on his name.” (Malachi 3:16) “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) 3:16’s are so cool!

Love you all,
Steve Corey

Pumice said...

If it is like the church I visited recently you would have been the only one sitting in the sanctuary even at 9:45 and by the time the service started the only one without a cup of coffee in your hand.

Grace and peace.

Gail Marvel said...

Steve and Pumice,
This is obviously trending in today's church!
Gail