A service to die for …

One Sunday morning the pastor noticed little Alex staring up at the large plaque that hung in the foyer of the church. The plaque was covered with names, and small American flags were mounted on both sides of it.

The seven-year-old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the pastor walked up, stood beside the boy, and quietly said, “Good morning Alex.”

“Good morning pastor,” replied the boy, still focused on the plaque. “Pastor, what is this?”

“Well, son, it’s a memorial of all the young men and women who died in the service,” the pastor explained.

Soberly, they stood together, staring at the large plaque. Little Alex’s voice was barely audible when he asked, “Which service, the 9 a.m. or the 11 a.m.?”

Some people think of attending a church service as a grave act, as if it’s something to be survived. Some services in some churches may feel that way!

But they shouldn’t.

Not if we follow the example of the early church, which was so full of vitality that it attracted people. Look closely at the passionate love, fellowship, and service the early Christians shared …

“A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity — all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved,” Acts 2:43-47.

Who wouldn’t want to be a part of such a vibrant family of faith?

Whether or not the faith family you’re a part of is a similar church family, or is one people feel like they have to survive, depends on each person in that local body of Christ. It doesn’t just happen. It comes from each person denying themselves and pouring out the love of God on each other.

It isn’t something that falls on you as you sit passively in the pew. Those who do that really are the dead sitting in a service.

Do you contribute to the “great joy and generosity” your local church can experience? Do you love and care for your brothers and sisters in Christ? Or are you waiting for someone to create an entertaining experience for you as you observe a service?