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.)