My relatives did not have running water inside their homes.
Except for Uncle Ben and Aunt Clara on the farm.
Uncle Ben had the well drilled first, then built the kitchen over the well. A pipe extension brought the pump to the right of the big sink in the kitchen. The water ran, when we pumped.
Sometimes no water responded to our pumping. We had to prime the pump – pour a quart of water down the pipe – to get the flange wet so that suction brought the water up.
When the flange is dry, no amount of pumping will get the desired result – water flowing.
I’m sure there is a connecting lesson in that dry flange situation. Drink deeply of the Water of Life so that your flange doesn’t get dry.
My pastor in Louisville felt called to conduct an evangelistic series in a small town in the hill country close by. He enlisted my wife and me to provide the music – and whatever else he needed help with. We gladly agreed and began preparations.
Opening night, at the time to begin, one person was present, sitting in the large school auditorium. With Linda at the piano, I began the song service. It was more like a solo concert. But we completed the planned number of songs.
Enthusiasm I’m sure was lacking, even though we performed well.
Beating back disappointment at the community response to the opportunity was difficult.
The dynamics worked against us. There was just not enough water to prime the pump.
We completed the series, but had no decisions made for Christ – that we knew of.
Have you ever tried to play tag when there’s just two of you?
Short game. It’s difficult to get enthused about the play.
Every week on Sabbath we have Sabbath School and Church services.
Teachers have studied and prepared for a discussion of the lesson, questions and comments at the ready.
Singspiration leaders have chosen songs with an eye to Praise God and Encourage attendees.
Those calling for the offering and praying have thought and prayed about their parts in the service. From their hearts they work to make your worship experiences feed you, strengthen you, encourage you, bring you into the presence of God for a blessing.
The pastor has spent hours on the sermon: praying for the right words and the right tone and the right mixture of helping you bow before God in acknowledgment of Who He Is, and providing power for the coming week to live in His Presence.
The Dynamics of Numbers come into play through all of this.
Empty seats drain the spirits of the leaders.
It is human nature to be disappointed when one’s efforts are apparently not appreciated.
We need to fill the seats. In Sabbath School and in the Worship Service.
A full house lifts the spirits of those leading in the programs.
Yes, there are always many wonderful events available for us to choose from that will result in our absence from the Study and Worship Services.
There may be nothing bad about those events. They may be seemingly good-for-us events.
You may be in the company of other members, or family, or friends.
But, your absence results in a weakening of the services at the church.
Satan does not want you to engage in corporate worship on Sabbath.
Satan will fill your weekend with “good” things to keep you away from corporate worship.
“I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the House of the Lord!’” That needs to be my attitude.
Glad! Not burdened. Glad!
Yes, one can easily worship God in His Creation, away from the church building.
No matter what the person may be doing, when a family member is absent from the table at meal time, it’s not quite the same.
Sabbath is Meal Time. Feast on the Word of God. Feast on the friendships that will continue into Eternity. Raise your voice in song and praise and supplication on the day and in the place where God has promised He Will Be Present with His People – in the Tabernacle.
Each Sabbath God has reserved an appointment time for you in His House of Worship. Is that not reason enough to put in the effort to be present in His congregation? Forego the conflicting events that would pull you away.
Make His Time fit into your time.
Prime your pump.
I look forward to seeing you at Sabbath School this week. (Lesson study begins at 9:30 a.m. There’s room in my classroom, the first room on the piano side hallway.)
I pray that this will not offend you.
My hope is -
> To challenge the status quo,
> To spark a personal serious evaluation of our Sabbath routines,
> To get a critical mass of spirited worshipers who will make University Parkway Seventh-Day Adventist Church the light that shines in the darkness, attracting seekers of truth to our fellowship.
Comments are welcome.