TODAY THE WORDS are LAST CHURCH IN THE TOWN. Once in a while, I will have a dream which is so real; I can remember it as if I had watched it on television. Last night I had one of those dreams and it seemed to have a message attached to it so I thought I would share it with my readers.
A couple who was searching for a church in the new town they had moved. Without an affiliation to one particular denomination, they wanted to visit each church. Each Sunday they planned on attending a different church. They dressed for church and went to the first church they picked.
The first church was a nicely ornate church with padded pews; nice lighting; wonderful acoustics and a beautiful altar and choir section. The pastor had a nice smile and rich voice and his message was on Charity and the blessing of Giving to Others. The couple liked the idea of everyone giving to others. The congregation, however, did not reach out to welcome them. The couple chalked this up to them being strangers and so they left without meeting anyone.
The next week they visited the second church on their list and again, it was a nice church with comfortable decor and seating but it was not quite as elaborate as the first church. The members did have a meet and shake time and it was a warmer reception so the couple felt a little more comfortable. The minister proceeded to talk on Acceptance and from the couple’s welcome; they felt the church practiced what they preached and accepted people on a good level. The couple upon leaving, felt as if they might return to this church.
The third week, they visited the third church and when they walked up to the simple, plain church; they had some mixed emotions. The pews were not cushioned, the carpet looked like it had seen better days; and the choir section was not accompanied by any major sound system and it was easy to see the choir sung from their lungs and not acoustic accompaniment. The couple looked around and saw the majority of the congregation dressed in old clothes, shoes, bearded, and some of them looked a little scruffy to say the least. The pastor stood up and it was obvious he didn’t have a big enough salary to dress in the latest fashion. As he walked to the pulpit which had probably been built and donated by a church member. The couple started to get up and leave; apparently this was not a church for them but the pastor began to speak and they felt it rude to get up and leave at this time.
Then the Pastor said……Today, there are those of you who are in need; some are poor in money and all of our church offerings will be shared with you according to how much it will take to open your soul to the Charity of God; it is not man who provides your needs but it is God who has brought you to our doors this morning. Please see me and the deacons after the service. Today there are those of you who have been rejected by others and need to know the love of God. God accepts you where you are today and doesn’t look on the outer appearances but on your heart. God welcomes you here to join with us; to refresh your soul and your spirit with His Love and Our Love which He has filled our hearts to share it with you. Gather round and we will pray with you and for you for your special light to start shining through. A lot of us are business people and we will talk with you about work for you to improve your life and your families. All God asks is when your life is better and you are walking tall in His Light; you shine to others and not be distracted by the material things in this life. Your reward will be in the faces of the people you will help along the way.
The couple were hugged by a lot of the members and they hugged back. They learned people’s names and where they lived. They were invited to people’s homes to get to know them better. They listened as some of the down trodden were told where to go to talk about working. They saw people receive monetary help and witnessed the tears flowing down the givers and receiver’s cheeks. They felt love; they witnessed charity; and from the many smiles, they felt acceptance.
Now, for the deeper thought……Which church do you think the couple re-visited and made their home church? I am not answering this question as this is part of the message. As individuals, we have to choose what is important in our journey and this is not for any one person to decide what is best for others. We are asked to witness; be a charitable giver; and to accept others without condemnation of their situation. I will leave this question up to you. Live Life; Love Life; and Live Life to the fullest by feeling the love; showing the love; and sharing the love.
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Philippians 2:15-16 ESV
That you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
(c) copyright 2014 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.