“Missing in Action”

Several years ago, I returned to my hometown for the funeral of a family
member. During the visitation & prior to the service, several aunts,
uncles and other relatives I had not seen in years stopped by to pay their
respects. I commented to one of my cousins that the only time we seem to
get together is when somebody dies.
I am sure you have relatives like that as well. Families used to have
well-attended “reunions” every year but fewer and fewer people take the
time to spend even one afternoon with their “kin folk”.
Church families are no different. There was a time when the sanctuary was
always filled on Easter, Christmas Sunday, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
Revival services and Homecoming were well-attended. Lately, the biggest
crowds I have seen in churches are for, you guessed it, funeral services!
Most churches have several hundred, even thousands of resident members
on their roll. The pastors I know say that less than one half of their church
membership are regular attendees. I know that a few of that number are not
able to attend worship any more due to health problems. Maybe a dozen or
two are attending church somewhere else and just haven’t moved their letter.
But the vast majority of those church members who do not regularly attend
worship simply stopped attending church at some point. Perhaps some of that
number are reading this article.
The writer of Hebrews encourages church members not to forsake, “the
assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting
one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” As
Christians, we should desire to have fellowship with one another. It is
our responsibility to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ as we
all seek to pursue and walk according to God’s will. That is not possible
if we forsake the assembly.
I do not know when Jesus Christ is coming back, but I do know that the
hour of His return grows closer each and every day. God’s people need each
other now more than ever. To those of you who regularly attend worship, I
thank you and encourage you to keep it up. For those who have recently
become more active, I congratulate you for your desire to be faithful to
Christ and His church. Maybe someone reading this has gotten out of the
habit of attending church services. Please, don’t let anything discourage
you from worshiping in the Lord’s house. Take the time to come and worship
the Lord who loves you and wants you to serve Him through His church. Your
pastor, ministerial staff and church family care about you and look forward
to seeing you very soon!
In Christ,
Bro. Joe