Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Lesson Of The Fire Coals

"Do not neglect to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encourage one another." (Hebrews 10:25)

There once was a member of a certain Christian congregation who, though once very active in her church, got “out of the habit” one summer and stopped attending and participating regularly.

A ministry team from church soon came to her house to let her know that she had been missed at church.  It was a chilly evening.  The team leader found her at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire in her fireplace.  Guessing the reason for the visit, the woman welcomed them, led them to a big couch near the fireplace, and waited.

The team made themselves comfortable but said nothing.  After a few minutes, the team leader took fire tongs sitting nearby, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember, and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone.

Then she sat back in the couch with the rest of the team, still silent.  The host watched all this in quiet fascination.  As the one ember's flame diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more.  Soon it was cold and "dead as a doornail."  Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting.

Just before the team was ready to leave, the leader picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.  As the team reached the door, the host said, "Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the 'fiery sermon.' I shall be back in worship Sunday."

This summer, if you’ve accidentally slipped into the habit of missing worship, remember (as this woman did) that  Christians grow and “glow” with the love of Christ best when we gather together to worship, study, and pray (as the scripture above indicates).  For those of you we’ve missed seeing this summer, I hope you back in worship soon!  After all, as the scripture above indicates, worship matters to God, so it should matter to us!

Here at LaGrangeFirst UMC, there’s a place for you in worship (click the previous link to find out more) Whether it’s using formal ritual, tradition, and music at either our 9:00am Chapel and 11:00am Sanctuary services, or using casual liturgy and song at our contemporary service that will move to 10:55am on September 10th and be renamed “THE BRIDGE, each of us needs regular corporate worship in order for our souls to be fed properly.

So, regardless of your pattern of worship up to now, I hope you’ll remember the lesson of the fire coals and plan to make a regular habit of worshipping with your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ as we move into Fall at LFUMC!  Remember, God loves you and I do, too!

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