“After church services Wednesday evening the congregation was abuzz over the announcement that was made: Jesus was coming to church next Sunday. He was not coming to preach; He was coming to observe the church at worship. Jesus would be given a special seat of honor with a view of all the members.
“This was certainly hard to believe, but coming he was, and you could rest assured that things would not be like usual.
“For one thing, the preacher hurried home and began to work immediately on his sermon. After all, there would be no way he would be caught with a poorly prepared lesson on Sunday morning. He would only preach God’s word with no additions of his own and no suggestion that any of God’s word could be set aside. He would be sure to preach with nothing but love and genuine concern for the souls in the audience. This sermon would be special – no question about it! Jesus would be listening this Sunday, and there was no way that the sermon would be lacking.
“The next morning some brother phoned Mr. Jones to tell him the news. Mr. Jones was a member of the congregation, but he was absent last night (he had worked all day and felt “too tired” to come). Mr. Jones quickly took out a thick black marker and wrote “RESERVED” on his calendar for the hours of worship on Sunday. This time he wouldn’t and couldn’t let his boss talk him into working on Sunday (which happened sometimes) or let his friends talk him into playing golf (which happened often, in good weather). No SIR! Jesus was going to be at church next Sunday, and Mr. Jones would not miss that for the world.
“Coming home from the store on Friday, Mrs. Smith saw a neighbor working in her yard. Mrs. Smith slowed the car down and turned into the neighbor’s driveway so she could invite the neighbor to come to church Sunday morning. Mrs. Smith rarely ever invited people to church because she expected that they wouldn’t come anyway, or – if they did – they might be offended by the preaching. But this time was different. Jesus was coming this Sunday and she just knew that the neighbor would want to be there!
“That Saturday night, Mr. Doe was careful to get to bed early so he could get a good night’s sleep. Normally he would have stayed up late watching television or trying to get his Bible lesson done at the last minute. The lack of sleep – not to mention the lack of interest – often caused him to nod off ten minutes into the sermon. But that wouldn’t happen this Sunday. Jesus would be at church tomorrow, and Mr. Doe would absolutely hate to fall asleep with him watching.
“Mr. and Mrs. Peabody set their alarm clock early for Sunday morning. Quite often they ran late for services. While this was a little bit embarrassing, it was no big deal. Except for this Sunday, that is! This Sunday Jesus was coming, and they would never allow him to see them showing up late.
“Even the man who was going to lead singing had his songs all picked out ahead of time. Normally, he would hurriedly pick out his songs just before services. But with Jesus in the audience, singing praises to God seemed much too important to be so carelessly planned.
“There is not enough room to adequately describe all of the changes in attitude and behavior that occurred because Jesus was coming to church that Sunday. Bob was careful to wear clothes that were (continued on pg. 2)
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appropriate – not too dressy (he didn’t want to shame those who couldn’t afford them) and not sloppy (didn’t want to look like someone who didn’t care). Jill had her lesson filled out for the very first time. Barbara had fed her children at home so that their pew didn’t look like a booth at a fast food restaurant. Jack smiled and acted like he was actually happy to be there, and everyone came to enthusiastically study God’s word, sing songs of praise and admonition, pray to the One who created all things and remember the sacrifice that Jesus (who would be right there with his nail scarred hands) had made for them at Calvary. Because Jesus was going to be there, everyone was determined that this worship service would be the most joyous, the most uplifting, and the most moving event that they had ever experienced.
“It’s too bad that they didn’t expect Jesus to come every worship service.”
As we consider the implications of this article, do we realize that Jesus is in our midst each Sunday, sitting by us, listening to us sing and praise him? Do we realize that our minds must be on the cross when we partake of the Lord’s Supper? Would the realization that he was there affect the way we pray? Give? Engage in Bible study? If we firmly believed that Jesus was coming to attend our worship, would we invite our friends and loved ones? Would the fellowship that we have with one another and with God be more “real?”
Would our preparation for Bible study be more intense?
Would the preacher’s sermon be better?
Would we listen more intently to what was being said?
Would we, under Jesus’ knowing eyes, not consider how it applies to “Bertha” but how it applies to me and what I need to do?
Jesus is with us all of the time (Galatians 2:20). How does that affect my decisions, my speech, my actions?
Brothers and sisters, Jesus will be here this Sunday!