Vol. 3, No. 18
[Glad Tidings, (Mechanicsville, VA: Cold Harbor
Road Church of Christ) Vol. 8, No. 1, July 2000, p. 4.]
In a bulletin I was reading, there was a single sentence given as “A Point to Ponder.” It worked -- see for yourself:
If your son died saving your neighbor from a fire, how would you feel if the neighbor skipped the funeral and went fishing?
These words speak of a tragedy beyond description. We love our children, and desire to keep them safe from harm. How horrible it would be to lose a child! Yet, this quote takes it further than that. Our child is killed in saving the life of another, and that person thinks so little of that selfless act that he does not even take the time to pause in memory of the one who died for him. He goes fishing (or had company, or was working on his house, or just wanted to sleep in) instead of going to the funeral. As parents, we would be furious! Our child lies dead and the person he saved does not care enough to come to the funeral!
We can easily see where this is headed. Some of the most moving passages of the New Testament remind us that God is in the position of a loving parent whose child died to save others. John 3:16 and Romans 5:8 both help us to see that great sacrifice of a loving Father who gave his Son that we might live. Jesus willingly went to that “Old Rugged Cross" and was crucified, shedding his blood to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Because of that sacrifice, salvation is open to all who obey (Hebrews 5:8-9). Then, when the time comes for a memorial concerning the One who died for us, where are we? Fishing, having company and working on the house may be entertaining, noble or diligent endeavors, but they do not show proper respect for our Savior!
When Paul corrected a problem in the church at Corinth, he recorded some of our Lord's words when the Lord's Supper was instituted. Jesus said, “…this do in remembrance of me” (1 Corinthians 11:24). Therefore, when we partake of the Lord's Supper on the first day of the week (the Lord's Day, Revelation 1:10), we are to consider what he has done; it is a memorial for our Redeemer that is to be observed each Lord's Day (Acts 2:42; 20:7). How does God feel when we have “something better” to do?
In those assemblies in which we do not meet to partake of the Lord's Supper, attendance is still important (and necessary, Hebrews 10:25). What is so important that it keeps us from singing praises to God? Where else do we want to be when our brethren gather together for prayer and Bible study or preaching? Why would we want to avoid the commanded act of giving? Each of these things is part of the New Testaments teaching on acceptable worship in God's sight. We know that God is aware of our activities -- what does he think about our habits regarding the assembly? If we were in his place, what would we think?