AS PEOPLE GATHERING TO WORSHIP

     Summer is the time of vacations, for trips into the great outdoors. As travel plans are made, perhaps valuable lessons can be derived from the two following stories.

     In the NW portion of Louisiana where I grew up, there were frequently new oil or gas wells being drilled all around our little farm. A story soon was making the rounds about a nearby farm-family who was one of the ones who became the recipient of royalty from oil found on their farm. One Sunday morning they readied the family car for a long dreamed of trip to a popular retreat area. As the dad and mom sat smugly in their car speeding past their well attended church, their young son, sitting in the back seat, waved at the church saying, “Bye, bye God. We struck oil!”

     There is still another story of a family on their way to a Sunday outing in the mountains. It was mid-morning as they drove past a church. Worshipers, dressed in their Sunday best, were gathering at the front entrance. Soon from the back seat of the car came the voice of 4-year old Carol, “Daddy, aren’t we going to church today?” In the front seat embarrassed glances were exchanged by the father and mother.

     “We can worship God in the mountains,” was the brief reply. After a moment of silence, from the back seat came the sage observation of which only a 4-year old is capable: “But we won’t, though, will we, Daddy.”

     The father had sought refuge behind an evasion all too popular today, even among church members. It is true that our Lord can be worshipped in the mountains. He can be worshipped in the plains, in the valleys and along a thousand streams. But in her 4 short years Carol had learned that while God can be worshipped in hills and dales and mountain tops, He usually isn’t.

     It always takes a conscious effort on our part to include God in our vacation plans. When living in Colorado, my late wife and I enjoyed going to a Pow-wow on the Colorado Western slope. Sometimes we would spend some time in secluded areas on near-by Grand Mesa. But come Sunday, we always found our way to a quaint little church on the out squirts of town.

     God has always loved the worshipful gathering of His people. I learned very young the following scripture, at the time from the KJV, though this is from the NKJV:

             “Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together, as is the manner

              of some, but exhorting one another, and so much more as you see the

              day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25

     We behold the handiwork of God when we see the stars at night, the lakes, valleys and majestic mountains, golden fields of grain, the prairies and the babbling brooks. It is in our meeting together that we experience and behold the wonder of the Lamb’s marvelous love as we sing in concert songs of adoration and love, offer up prayers of thanksgiving and hear a message from His holy word. Oh, how the Christian heart can sing:

            “Fair are the meadows, Fair are the woodlands,

             Robed in flow’rs of  blooming spring; Jesus, is fairer, Jesus is purer;

             He makes our sorr’wing spirit sing. . . .” 

                                         (from a song written by a German Jesuit in 1677 - 

                                         translated & arrangement by Richard Willis in 1850)

     Oh, come, let us worship the Lord together!

     Just A Thought Across The Garden Gate by Parson Don.



                                                                                                                                                                              Updated June 26, 2012
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      Each devotional was written by Parson Don Brown, and inspired under God's Direction
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