I live in a small town. I realize that there are those who love the city and all the perks that city life entails. I am glad to say however that I like living in the country and serving the wonderful people the Lord has given me to minister too. Today, as I was standing in line at a local restaurant waiting to order, I realized that this was the day for the annual hog show in our town. I don’t know how I missed this fact. I had been wondering why the restaurant was overly crowded for a Monday.
This restaurant has two dining areas: one is toward the back and enclosed so it can be partitioned off for birthday parties and special events and a large open one up front. Five days a week at lunch the back one is open for overflow because this is a very popular place to visit for lunch. This place always serves good food and more often than not you will see one or more of your friends any given day of the week. It was in all of my contemplating that I saw a sign over the counter. “If you are with the hog show, please sit in the front dining room.” How funny is that. I think they were afraid to coop these individuals up in the enclosed dining area. 🙂 I admit this cracked me up. This could only happen in a small town.
How often I wonder do we tend to do this in our churches? Do we approach with open arms those that may look different than what we are used to? I often wonder how many snap judgments we make when someone sits down in our church. Do we try to change the outside of this person without taking time to find out what is in their heart? Jesus himself chose to spend his time with publicans and sinners showing them how much he loved them. In my case, I am glad Jesus chose to be with me rather than turn up his nose at my sinful condition. I think it’s time to start looking deeper into our hearts and check our motives. Our churches show be a place where people are loved and made to feel at home in the presence of God. Sometimes I think we even get territorial about the section we sit at in our church. We should get to the place when every place in our sanctuaries and our hearts are completely open to everyone.
I wonder what reaction we would have in our churches if we put up a sign, “Welcome Everyone! Please sit any where you would like!”
*Hey, Friends. Just wanted to give you all a shout out and a quick update on the Clouds. Gordon is doing some better. We are still working on regulating his blood pressure. He has had some good days and some bad days. His leg is better and We are working on our diets. He goes back to the doctor on Wednesday for a check up. For all those who have kept us in your prayers, I wanted to say, “thanks.” I have felt them. Also Thank you for all your concern. It means so much to have friends and family who support you in times of difficulty. May God bless all of you as you have truly blessed us!
**Gordon has updated everyone on his health issues on his blog. Blessings.