Believe it or not, time for another UPLift piece, this time a spiritual poem.
THE EMPTY PEW
by J. Randal Matheny
Your normal place at church last Sunday was bare,
Your smile cheered no one in the needy throng;
Your voice said no amen at the end of prayer,
And none were edified by your lilting song —
Our souls are poorer since you were not there.
A sad reminder is this empty pew;
Your brethren and your God are missing you.
It’s instructive to read a familiar verse like Hebrews 10:25 in its context:
10:24 And let us take thought of how to spur one another on to love and good works, 10:25 not abandoning our own meetings, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and even more so because you see the day drawing near. 10:26 For if we deliberately keep on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, no further sacrifice for sins is left for us, 10:27 but only a certain fearful expectation of judgment and a fury of fire that will consume God’s enemies. 10:28 Someone who rejected the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 10:29 How much greater punishment do you think that person deserves who has contempt for the Son of God, and profanes the blood of the covenant that made him holy, and insults the Spirit of grace? 10:30 For we know the one who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 10:31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Early in my faith I made the decision never to miss a meeting of the church unless I was physically unable to be present. The Lord has blessed that decision, especially considering it represents his will on the matter. I’ve refused job offers — jobs I really needed — because I would have had to work while the church was meeting. But the Lord took care of us at every step. He guarantees that.