Check mark. √
Absent—beyond the check mark:
My day off, so I slept in.
Other things were scheduled.
Just didn’t feel like coming today.
I won’t be missed anyway.
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Your presence is an important encouragement to my growth in the Lord as my presence should be to yours. When we are absent from one another on the Lord’s Day, it involves more than empty seats.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42)
The fellowship of our church family is less with your absence or my absence. When we commune together during the passing of the bread and cup, a seat—mine or yours– is skipped over. Our family is missing an important member.
11 So Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13)
Together, we are strengthened and unified in the faith. We help each other strive to attain maturity in the Lord.
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. (Colossians 3:16)
To “admonish” is to advise, counsel, urge, take to task. I need you and you need me “to teach and admonish one another” in the Lord.
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ . . .15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. (I Corinthians 12:12, 15-20)
The Lord misses you, and He misses me when we are absent. The body is not whole with the empty seat. He is there. His seat is never empty. “For where two or three gather in My name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20)
Let us be present with each other in the Presence of the Lord. You matter. I matter.
Christ gave His life for you and for me.
(Sharon G. Tate blog 03/04/18) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word