Hello, old friend!
Gosh, it was so great to see you this morning! It seems there was snow on the ground the last time we happened to meet, squeezed together in a pew then, too, just as today. Last time, we sang Christmas hymns together; today, we sang of the Lord’s victory over the Cross.
I know, things are a little confusing. The words have changed—not a lot, just a little bit, but it was sometimes hard for you to follow along. Don’t worry about it, though. Why, just last week I myself screwed up on the “And with your spirit” and no one seemed to notice. You’ll get the hang of it.
Here’s the thing: We’re part of a big family, you and I. Without your voice, your smile, your friendly hug—without you, something is missing at our big Sunday gatherings. When you don’t come around for a long time, when you brush us off for TV or football or an extra hour’s sleep, we all miss you. We’re like the guy wearing a white shirt who has a spot of black ink on the pocket: There is this whole mass of shiny white, but wait!! There’s one little empty black spot. You can’t help but notice right away that our prayer to the Father is missing one voice, one heart, one soul.
What, you thought we didn’t notice? We sure did! And even more, God noticed.
Back at the beginning, back when God created the world and gave us all this great stuff—lakes full of fish, golf courses full of grass and trees, muscles to swing a nine iron, intellects to create the technology that makes possible a televised baseball game—when He gave us all that stuff, He expected that we’d show some appreciation. He gave us a list of rules, ten of them, and there are two that come to mind especially:
I am the Lord Thy God. Thou shalt not have other gods before me.
That means He’s more important than catching some zzz’s on a soft pillow, more important than your day off, more important than your golf buddies, more important than the best darned excuse you can come up with. Deep in your heart, you already know that, without my even mentioning it.
And here’s the other rule that comes to mind:
Remember keep holy the Lord’s Day.
Remember how, in the Book of Genesis, God spent six days creating the world—bustling around adding flowers in the fields, fish in the seas, animals on the hillsides, and then creating Man… and then, on the seventh day, resting from His labors? That was an object lesson for us, as well as a command. Stay busy working and playing all week; but then, on Sunday, give the day back to God. He’s blessed you with 168 hours this week, and you need to give one of them back.
So here’s the thing: I miss you. The Church misses you. And God misses you.
Please don’t stay away!
See you next Sunday, right?
Oh, and Happy Easter!