WHO WILL TAKE OUR CHURCH FROM US?
Lent Devotion #30
SCRIPTURE: Lamentations 1:1 How solitary and lonely sits the city (Jerusalem) that was full of people! How like a widow has she become ! She who was great among that nations and princess among the provinces has become a tributary—-in bond service! (Amp)
DEVOTION: Five months after we moved to Connellsville, Pennsylvania, the sanctuary of our massive, stone and steel church burned. Signs forbidding entry were immediately posted on the double red doors at the top of the cement steps. Yellow police tape was tied across the bottom of the steps. The church that was great in our nation and truly was a princess in the province (city) looked solitary and lonely, like a tributary waiting for its new assignment in bond service.
The scene reminded me of the war-closed synagogues in Europe, many of which are now
museums. I pondered what our community might be if Christianity were forbidden and all the churches had signs and yellow tape at the bottom of their steps, forbidding entrance.
We are fortunate to have the freedom to worship in this country. But with that freedom comes the responsibility to support our houses of worship and the congregations. Too many people are falling prey to secular callings of sports, sleep and housekeeping chores on Sunday mornings, leaving the church pews and coffers empty. The churches don’t need signs and yellow The keep-out signs and yellow ribbon should have acted as a wake-up call for the congregation, yet the pews returned to their near-empty state after the two and a half million renovation was completed.
Hard questions arise. How do you support your church? Do you offer presence, finances and gifts for its survival, or have you succumbed to the worldly excuses that keep people away from Sunday services? How would you feel if the churches in your community were to be shut down? What can you do to prevent that?
PRAYER: Lord, we must learn to appreciate our freedoms, including the freedom of religion, and not take them for granted. If we become lethargic with this freedom, you may be correct in removing our church privileges. Amen.