Sunday, January 8, 2017
Remaining Faithful with Depressing Circumstances
Sunday. The day for church.
I love our small church, but it's declining. People don't come anymore. Why? That's a good question. The super churches siphon from the small ones. The large churches can provide the entertainment, bands and hoop-la little ones can't. But the big ones also preach the Word and reach people, so that's a good thing.
We once had a core of people, a really good core. They died and no one came to replace them.
We've tried all sorts of things to promote this sweet little church, but God gives a thumbs down at this time to all our efforts. His no doesn't mean we should quit trying, or does it? We have so few people, we could close the doors and few would take note.
Hubby prepares solid sermons. I prepare solid Bible lessons. Our pianist is a master of the keyboard. We're faithful.
So...........as I prepare to leave for worship this morning, I'm sad. If I truly confess, I'd say depressed. Why keep working so hard for so few? On the other hand, those few need what we offer.
When we were on vacation a couple of weeks ago, we attended a large church. Super good sermon from a young minister who'd only been in the ministry for a few months. The traditional sanctuary was beautiful. I love stained glass windows, pews, and lively colors...blues, scarlet, red...you know, the Tabernacle colors God chose for His place. The congregation numbered in the thousands and many of them gave us a friendly welcome.
The fresh-faced minister asked us to pray for forgiveness of sins before we took the Holy Communion. Want to know what I prayed?
"Lord forgive me for being envious of this church. I'd love to worship and serve in a place like this, and I'm jealous."
My place of worship isn't a place like that. And I never will have that opportunity again to serve in a vibrant church. That young associate pastor was at the start of his ministry. My sweet hubby is finishing his. In the meantime, we'll be faithful where we are.
My Bible study this AM is in Joshua. "Choose you this day who you will serve. As for me and my house, we'll serve the Lord."
Joshua didn't say, "I'll serve if you give me an easy, beautiful place." He served in the one God gave him. When Joshua preached this sermon to Israel, he was at the end of his ministry, but he promised to remain faithful.
I'm doing that, but God forgive me for being depressed about it. I suppose that spoils the whole experience doesn't it?