Over the weekend, I took my 17 year old Madison out of town to a livestock show. The show activities were on Saturday and Sunday, and we noticed in the program that there would be a worship service held in the show arena bright and early Sunday morning just before the first of the animals was to be exhibited.
I was exited to attend the service since there were nearly a thousand people at the livestock show. I had seen plenty of the attendees wearing shirts with Bible verses on them, and I envisioned many voices coming together to sing, "Oh, How I Love Jesus" and "Amazing Grace".
We left our hotel early enough on Sunday so we could arrive on time at the worship service. As we passed by the animals stalls I noticed lots of people grooming their animals and chatting cheerily with their neighbors. I made my way to the show arena and saw 2 ladies with their children. I checked the time. 8:32. The worship service was to start at 8:30. Confused, I asked the ladies whether I was in the wrong place. They said they were also waiting for the worship assembly.
A few more people came in, and finally the worship leader. I looked around in tears and counted.
23 people came to the worship service.
23 out of nearly a thousand.
I'm about to step on some toes, but this is something that needs to be said.
In fact, it was said long ago in the New Testament book of Hebrews.
"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near." (Hebrews 10:23-25)
I have been noticing more and more children's activities, such as soccer, baseball, stock shows, and cheer, taking place on Sunday. As you have read in this post, we have attended some of these ourselves.
But it is a sad, sad state when Christians can not stop to take even a few minutes out of our busy schedules of trivial activities to worship our Savior.
I wondered as I stared, teary-eyed back to the area where the stalls were, where there was a buzz of busy activity, what our Lord must be thinking.