the view from the pew 5-28-16

Saturday night service checklist:
—Cane
—Mints
—Service folder to write on
—Pen taken from the one attendance pad that someone actual tried to fill out but had no pen (erp!)
—Wife

Songs included but not restricted to:
“This Holy Place”
“Thy Word”
“Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty”

Also included:
Nicene Creed
Lord’s Prayer
Confession of Sinfulness, followed by
Announcement of God’s Forgiveness

It takes a while to get accommodated to the surroundings for a Saturday evening service, especially when the weather turns warm. It pays to know which pews are located under the HVAC vents. I also have a problem staying focused. Where can I sit where I don’t have clear access to count all the wall lamps surrounding the sanctuary (14), or count the attendance (~50). There’s no getting by counting all the lit candles (17). Where is the glare the worst? Is there a post I can lean up against? (I let Susan sit by it tonight but don’t think she has ever thought of taking advantage of it). After reading this back to myself, I wonder how anyone can ever just walk into a church and sidle into the middle of a pew in a center row. Do they not ever think of an escape route? What if they have to pee? What then? Do they actually stand up in front of everyone during Children’s Church and excuse themselves? What kind of courage do they have that I don’t? Do they have more faith than me? Or do they just not think of it? That’s probably it. I think some people just go through life like leaves blown about by a wind that doesn’t know its origin or destination. When I stand before Jesus, I’m sure He’ll compliment me on my ability to think ahead before worship. He might even give me extra kudos for leaning against that post in the back row. Maybe if Eutychus had had a post to lean against, He’ll tell me, he might not have fallen asleep and fallen to his death in Acts 20 (don’t worry, Paul brought him back to life). Uh huh.

Worship was fine tonight. What do you need to know?

God is with you.

At all times.

If you are in church He’s with you in a way that He isn’t other places.
1. He is strong in the Word as it spoken from the Bible. The Holy Ghost reaches down deep into your soul as the Word is spoken, strengthening your faith (but it helps not to be counting candles or just staring out into space).
2. He is in the bread and wine as you are in Communion with Him. It is His blood, it is His body during the ceremony.
3. He is in you as a result of baptism. He is helping you fight fear and sin and staying away from do-badders.

So if you haven’t been to church in a while or ever, sneak in, sit in the back and don’t try to do anything. Say sitted when everyone else stands. You don’t have to put money in the hat as it goes by. When people pray, pray along if you want or just watch everyone else. Don’t sing if you feel uncomfortable. And if someone comes up to you to try to “help” you, just smile, nod and say you don’t speak English. Believe me, there will be plenty of opportunities to ‘get it right’. Besides, Jesus will be doing all the work for you. He’s painless and you most likely will be unaware of Him right off the bat. Just relax and breathe.

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