Be Faithful in Attending Your Local Department

Story of the Day for Thursday November 3, 2011

Be Faithful in Attending Your Local Service Department

                 Two men went into the temple to pray . . . The Pharisee prayed, “God, I thank you that I’m not like other people. . . “  But the tax collector . . . said, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” 

                                                                     Luke 18:10-13

Many years ago, in a small Wisconsin town, a widow and her three small daughters were staying away from worship at the Methodist Church. A member talked to the widow about her worship attendance and discovered the woman was too embarrassed to come to church because she could not afford good clothes for the girls.

The member reported this to the Methodist Women’s Circle of the congregation, and the women’s group immediately responded by generously providing the girls with new clothes.

But still the family didn’t come to church.

When they saw the mother again, and asked about her absence from worship, she said, “The girls looked so nice in their new dresses, I sent them to the Presbyterian Church.”

 

In the old days the church may have been a place to showcase our dress, but I don’t see much of that anymore. But what is always a danger, and never seems to go out of style, is using the church as a place to showcase ourselves.

Pastors from the various churches in a community where I lived, used to gather for meetings. They were good men, and I liked them. But the meetings began to turn into bragfests – each pastor vying to outdo the others in the miracles claimed or the number of conversions. No one dared mention their struggles and failures, or their sins.

 

Jim Corley wrote in Christian Reader about a conversation he had with his friend, and fellow church member, Alex. Jim found out Alex was reluctant to go to worship because he was struggling in his life and felt he was not being a good Christian example. He felt like such a hypocrite.

So, one day, Jim went to the car dealership where Alex worked.

“Alex, what do you call this part of the dealership?” as he nodded to the area outside Alex’s cubicle.

“You mean the showroom?”

“And what’s behind the showroom, past the parts counter?”

“The service department.”

“What if I told you, “ Jim said, “I didn’t want to bring my car to the service department because it was running rough”

“That would be crazy! That’s the whole point of service departments – to fix cars that aren’t running right.”

Jim then told his friend that the church was not a showroom – where we seek to impress people. Instead, the church is meant to be God’s service department. “Helping people get back in running order with God is what the church is all about.”

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)