Monday, June 22, 2015

Who Goes to Church on Wednesday, Anyway?

It's bizarre, you know, if you think about it.  I mean, sure, you know, and I know, that there are people that are attending church every time the door opens.  But, why?  Who is this person, or these people, that are attending church on this type of basis?  What could they possibly get from being there all the time?  Is it, if you will, that they feel more holy?  Do they think being there is simply what gets them closer to God?  

I have no idea what motivates every single person who does so to attend church on Wednesday night.  Going on a hunch, however, I'm going to say that they simply want to be closer to God.  They don't feel like they're any better than you or I, on average (save from the outlier(s) who do feel 'holier than thou').  We all know that lessons come from that with which we surround ourselves.  I think that people who attend church on Wednesday night are trying to make sure those lessons are coming from Him.  

I wish I had been there on Wednesday night.  I know it's crazy, but I wish I had been there.  I wasn't, I was in a private home where we basically held church.  Matthew 18:20 says, "Where two or three are gather in my name, there I am with them."  Although I was not in that church, I was at "church."  Ezekiel 22 verse 30, talks about standing in the gap.  "I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none."  This verse is about intercession.  It's about being the one to block the evil from that which is good.  As it relates to the story from which it came, God was going to have to destroy the land because there was no one to stand in the gap and save it from the overcoming evil.  The verse can also be a means for standing in the gap to protect the innocent from the harm that is in the world in which we currently live.  

When a tragedy happens like what happened in Charleston, SC last week, sometimes we let outside factors (such as media) decide what the issues are; like who we should blame, how mad we should be, and even what we have to do to stop it.  First of all, I'm not mad.  I'm sad.  I'm heartbroken.  It's painful to me that there is this kind of evil in the world.  I was very emotional yesterday, Father's Day, while sitting in church thinking about the mourning in South Carolina.  I don't even know who to blame for this.  I mean, I know who carried out the act, but that doesn't necessarily mean he was the only perpetrator.  I don't know who filled his mind with the kind of evil that made him commit mass murder.  Nor do I know what we should do to stop it.  News outlets have ideas of what to do but, I don't think they have the right answers.  More rules and regulations will not work.  Rules and regulations, whether we like it or not, will not stop evil.  I wonder if the young man who carried out this heinous act even knows about my Savior.  I bet not.  I can't guarantee that, but I bet not.  He may have attended church and heard people quote verses and seen people play out their own version of Christianity, but if he knew the Savior I know, he wouldn't have been able to carry out his plan.  

I was also overjoyed.  I know, that seems odd.  How could I be happy about anything involving tragedy?  As Wednesday night turned into Thursday, which turned into the weekend, families of victims began to speak out.  These are typically the kind of people who are angry and want vengeance.  They're usually too hurt to think about the consequences of the hate they might now carry in their own heart.  But these people of Charleston, South Carolina are special people.  Some of them attended the hearing of the young man who committed atrocities against their loved ones.  They were there, less than forty-eight hours later, to let him know that they have forgiven him.  

It's hard to know a person's motives.  You can't simply look at someone and see whether their outward appearance is similar to what is in their heart.  Having seen the temerity of the victims and their acquiescence of God's wishes by forgiving this young man, I think I can say that they know my Savior.  I wish I had been there that day.  I wish we could have been there to stand in the gap.  That's what brothers and sisters do for one another.

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