Why do you all go to church every week? I go to be in the
presence of the Lord with my brothers and sisters in Christ. That is
where I am ministered to — standing in the Lord's presence, with the
whole church worshiping at His feet. For me, being in His presence is
the highlight of church. I am taught more by what the Lord speaks to me
during worship than what the pastor speaks to the congregation during
the message. My fear of the Lord is renewed as I am overwhelmed by His
awesome holiness. If I have had a tough week, it is during worship, in
the Lord's presence, where He loves me, leads me, and strengthens me
for another week.
The worship is at the beginning of the
service, and that is the most important part of the service for me. We
are there on time every week, so we don't miss it. But every week,
people straggle in long after the service has started. This last time
at church, people were coming in up until the message started. This
happens every week. This week I was crying during one of the songs,
because of something the Lord was dealing with me about. That did not
stop a young father from tapping me repeatedly on the shoulder until I
noticed him, and then waiting impatiently while I stepped out into the
aisle so he and his family could get past us to some empty seats.
it just me, or does it seem supremely disrespectful to the Lord to
treat His presence and His worship as if it is just that extra 20
minutes of cushion? Not to mention how disrespectful it is to the
people who are trying to worship?
I remember, when I was a
child, that coming in late and interrupting the service was considered
horrible manners. People coming in late had to wait outside the
sanctuary until a natural break in the service. I mean, if you go to
the theater, once the play starts, the doors to the auditorium are
closed. You cannot enter a theater late, because it would ruin it for
the others. Why do Christians have more respect for the theater than
they do for the presence of the Lord of the Universe? Is it because
theater tickets cost and church is free?
that one person who comes in late gets saved during the service? Was it worth it? Church is not about you. It is not about what you get out of the service regardless of which part appeals to you most. Do you know the circumstances behind why that person is late? Would you prefer empty seats next to you when they could be filled by people who come with open and expectant hearts? Oh and by the way, do you think Jesus would lock the door and not let anyone else in just so that you would not be disturbed? His grace is free (unlike theatre tickets).
I am right there with you on this. My husband has one big pet peeve, and that is being late. He doesn’t expect to be there incredibly early, but he wants to be there (meaning, in his seat) ON TIME. Our service has a half hour of time between when Bible classes end and when worship begins. If people can’t arrive on time, then like you have stated, they should wait until between the worship time and the message (when we have a natural break). Our services are arranged this way: 10:30, worship begins. 10:55 offering, then children’s sermon. 11:00, children depart (if they want, but not necessary) to children’s church, and we have a minute or two to “greet your neighbor”. Then the message begins. If you are late, you could easily come in during the break where the children go up, OR during the greeting time. Of course, we keep the back and side chairs open for late comers. Why do they have to barge past you? Personally, I find that many people that go, usually the ones that go late, leave early, and aren’t “involved” are the ones who also aren’t respectful in other ways. I have four boys, and I dress them all in their “Sunday Best”… we even have shoes specifically for church! Whereas, many of their Bible class “friends” come in blue jeans and holey t-shirts (or low-rise jeans and skin-tight shirts). To me, part of the respect is also in how we present ourselves to the Lord. If all we have is blue jeans and t-shirts, that’s one things, but would you go to see the president in that attire? I think not. Why would you come to worship the Lord in that? Funny thing is, I get comments all the time on how nice my boys look, etc. Like they have never seen such a thing. Thanks for being so conscientious of such things. The Lord’s blessings on you.
I, too, am with you on this one. In general people today are not taught respect for others. We are such a selfish generation that I often think I would have been better off living sometime in the past. I am saddened by the “personal peace and affluence” (to use the words of Francis Schaeffer) that people are after today. And, it has entered our churches. It is amazing that someone would not notice another person entered into worship to the Lord and be so blind and selfish that they could not wait a few minutes to get to their seats. All people think about is themselves. Whatever happened to putting the other person first or caring for others? I hope it isn’t gone for good………just on vacation…..
I agree to a certain extent on this, where as I get very irritated when people come lolly gagging in after worship has begun, I do not let it bother me for that is between them and the Lord. I use to be one of those stragglers in the beginning of my walk………but the irritated looks of people would not help me or anyone else want to come again but stir up strife and wrong feelings. Not saying at all that you do that but some do because of their irriatation. Though it is very irritating and I understand how irritating it would be to be in the middle of worshiping the Lord and someone didn’t show me the respect of waiting a few minutes to get to their seats but maybe a heart of thankfulness would have been a better reaction to them because they came to also be in the presence of the Lord. Maybe they don’t “get” it yet, show them by pouring His love onto them…………and then continue to worship the Lord. Know that when I say this I am speaking to myself in some instances as well.
Anyway, it is irritating yes but our attitudes should still be kind and loving towards them and not focused on ourselves……….be patient with them, endure their lack of respect, and let the Lord work in their lives by praying for them and reaching out to them. Looking at the theatre analogy………….um not sure if it is altogether respect or rather a sort of pride and high class arrogance, know what I mean?
Great analogy to the theater. I agree with you totally. Late comers should have to wait for a natural break in the service. I have noticed in different denominationa l churches, people come or stay for what they deem to be most important. Showing for the sermon (which in some churches is half way through the length of the service) cuts the time they actually attendance time considerably. Worship isn’t the primary concern. I hate to say that for many, it’s a habit or an obligatory attendance. In churches that offer weekly communion, I have noticed that people leave directly after receiving the sacraments. It is all disrespectful to me. What has happened to this country? Thanks for this thought provoking post.
When we have arrived at church late, we’ve always stood quietly at the back until there is a natural break in the service.
I am researching gluten- & casein-free diets as a possible treatment for my kiddo on the autism spectrum. I did a search on HSB, using the keyword “gluten.” I found various web logs of ladies who follow a GFCF lifestyle for celiac disease or other reasons. Yours was one of them. If you get a chance, could you stop by my web log? Thanks! 🙂
My sentiments are with you. I know some who think nothing of bringing their children late to a church service, yet would be appalled at being late to a Little Guy Football game, at which they are required by the coach to be 1 1/2 hours early, and the game itself lasts 2 1/2 hours, a total of 4 times longer than the average church service!!
I think this is a problem specific to our culture and its casualness, and its lack of respect for a holy God.
I came back to this post to see how my last post was received. No response. I read the next 6 comments and I am appalled at the judgement I see linked to this post. I must say that I hope that none of you are ever late for church again. Where does the golden rule apply in this situation? If you don’t want interruptions go to the theatre, not church, for that matter just stay home (where you make the rules of the establishment). Of course let he who is without sin cast the first stone. So who am I to say anything more on this.
seems to have the grace I admire (so to her an apology)….oh and I must say that Sheri was right on the money…..what a “selfish generation” exemplified here.