Capacity Crowd

Let me provide some visuals.

The latest Apple phone has just come out. Lines are out the door and around the block, hundreds of would-be customers hoping to get to the front before the last one is sold.

The Seahawks are in the play-offs. Season ticket holders have gobbled up most of the seats but there are still a few to sell. Thousands are poised, at their computer, waiting for them to be released so they can jump on what is available. If that does not work, those really driven show up gameday looking for a scalper.

And then there is this one describing many not long ago. Enduring the lengthy lines at Costco, hoping to dash in and buy toilet paper and bottled water before they are sold out again.

You get the idea. We can go to great lengths to take care of our wants and needs.

You have noticed our sanctuary is getting fuller. And why shouldn’t it? God’s invitation has gone forth:

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live…” (Isaiah 55:1-3).

With that, here is one more visual I would like to be true.

When I arrive Sunday at 7:45am, the line wanting to get into church already extends out to 74th Street. When the doors are opened people parade in as quickly as they can hoping to find a seat. There is standing-room only along the back and side walls when we get close to the Call to Worship.

Why shouldn’t there be such a scene? An Apple phone is nice. The Seahawk game would be fun. Life is better with toilet paper. But what is offered each week at church is forgiveness of sin and life eternal in the new heaven and new earth. We should have to shoo away the scalpers wanting to capitalize on that free offer.

Is worship attendance the high point of your week? If it is not, take inventory my friend. If coming to church is not something your loved ones consider important, lovingly challenge their thought process and conclusion.

You could even tell them you will try and save them some seats. If you do, do not lay down in the pew. Someone desperate to worship God may sit on you. And our deacons and ushers wouldn’t chastise them if they do. After all, it is the Gospel we are talking about here. Desperate measures for desperate souls.

Let the hungry and thirsty come so that their soul may live.

Pastor Rich Hamlin
March 25, 2021

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