Sleep Tight and Then Actively Bring the Church to the People
What keeps you up at night? We all have something that occasionally causes us to toss and turn. For me, it’s not so much about falling asleep — I can do that pretty much anywhere at any time. My problem is that if I awaken in the middle of the night, I often have a hard time getting back to sleep.
Lately, what has awakened me most is the uncertainty as to whether I set the alarm at the church. It’s easy to do, and I remind myself to do so by using the app on my phone as soon as I lock up the church doors, but something always seems to happen between the time I leave the church and the time I get into the car (a span of just 30 seconds) that causes me to forget.
As a result, I often wake up in the middle of the night, and realize that I have failed to arm the system. Fortunately, I can do it from the comfort of my home, so I just pick up the phone, go to the app, and arm the system (provided someone else hasn’t done so in the meantime). Then, I can roll over and go back to sleep.
All of this made me think about the early days of our current sanctuary. I assume that back in 1970 the church would be locked up at the end of each day, but I doubt that Pastor McLachlan lost sleep over external threats to the church, and I am certain he had no security system to arm each night.
I am very grateful to our Trustees for their swift and decisive action in providing a reliable security system for our church, and for the plans to install additional cameras to increase surveillance, which we hope will reduce threats to the church that means so much to us.
At the same time, I lament the fact that our church doors can’t be open all the time — to anyone who wants to draw closer to God anytime of the day or night. I realize that this is a very naïve and unrealistic objective, especially in today’s increasingly unsafe world, but I also believe in my heart that access to the church should not be impeded under any circumstances. What a dilemma — idealistic expectations versus real-world circumstances.
I realize that one day — in accordance with God’s plan and timetable — we will have unrestricted access to the Him in the glory of His Kingdom, and we can all rejoice in that.
The question is, what can we do in the meantime? How can we make our church more enticing to those on the outside — those who could benefit most from a relationship with the Lord.
The answer, I think, comes from I Timothy 4:13-16, which states, “Until I arrive, pay attention to public reading, preaching, and teaching. Don’t neglect the spiritual gift in you that was given through prophecy when the elders laid hands on you. Practice these things, and live by them so that your progress will be visible to all. Focus on working on your own development and on what you teach. If you do this, you will save yourself and those who hear you.”
Our gentle words and our compassionate actions will encourage others to seek the Lord and set our minds at ease so that we can all get a good night’s sleep.
Until we meet again, Be Blessed! – Pastor John