Brief Thoughts on Easter-Service Experiences

I don’t often hear “God-speak” from most peo­ple I work with, but yes­ter­day I heard quite a few peo­ple dis­cussing East­er — par­tic­u­lar­ly their church­es’ services.

One nice lady seemed a bit irri­tat­ed that her church was so packed that she & her fam­i­ly had to stand through ser­vices — after all, should­n’t a fam­i­ly who has attend­ed for a dozen or more years be guar­an­teed a seat? I had to stand through ser­vice once dur­ing a camp meet­ing 5–7 years ago. It was one of the best ser­vices I ever had because, praise the Lord, the gospel was preached to many unfa­mil­iar souls. When­ev­er church com­fort becomes an issue, I praise God that I don’t have to sit up against an open win­dow, lis­ten­ing to a preach­er drag on for hours, caus­ing me to fall not only asleep, but right out the win­dow to my death. With all of the inno­va­tions in com­fort com­ing from all direc­tions — auto­mo­bile mak­ers, fur­ni­ture com­pa­nies, shoe mak­ers, etc. — it’s easy to for­get that the best food for the spir­it & soul does noth­ing for the body but neglect it!

Anoth­er nice lady men­tioned she stays home on East­er & Christ­mas so that all the guests aren’t crowd­ed and will have a place to sit. That’s an inter­est­ing thing to do. If East­er is what many of claim it is, it ought to be the most antic­i­pat­ed assem­bling of our­selves togeth­er of the whole year! Not only ought we be there in remem­brance and cel­e­bra­tion of Christ’s death, bur­ial, and res­ur­rec­tion accord­ing to the Scrip­tures, but we ought to be there because so many oth­ers will be there. In an ego­cen­tric soci­ety, may we nev­er for­get that our gifts giv­en to us — whether it be singing, work­ing with our hands, teach­ing, writ­ing, orga­niz­ing, help­ing, etc. — are giv­en to us to min­is­ter to oth­ers. When we assem­ble togeth­er, we do so not for our­selves but for our God and His pecu­liar peo­ple. Remem­ber, space was nev­er a con­cern for the ear­ly church, even when they were only meet­ing in hous­es and attics. If the meet­ing has to, pour out of that build­ing and have a meet­ing in the streets! (Yes, it was cold on East­er; no, that does­n’t matter.)

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Rick Beckman