Being "On Time" For WorshipHave you ever thought about how scrupulous people can be in the matter of punctuality in their being on time for their various commitments? If a concert is set to begin at 8:00 P.M., — they arrive in plenty of time to take their seats before that very first number begins. If they are to be dinner guests at a 6:00 P.M. affair, it is almost certain that they will leave home in ample time to make it. They would not want to insult the hostess. If employed by a company which requires them to report for work at 7:30 A.M. they get up early and make certain they "punch in" on time. These same people make arrangements to meet specific appointments with their physicians and dentists. Also if they have an appointment to discuss a business deal at a specific hour, they will be there unless it is necessary to cancel it because something very urgent comes up unexpectedly. Parties, picnics, dinners, concerts, sports, business obligations — all such affairs are attended to by most of us with all punctuality.
Have you ever noticed that Christians sometimes are not as punctual when it comes to the business of Jesus Christ? It may well be that in no other area is there such a high incidence of tardiness. That which is of the greatest importance is often handled with the least diligent effort. The common practice of all congregations is to have fixed hours of Bible study and worship on the Lord's Day and during the week. These hours of services are well-understood by all. Is it too much to expect the disciples of the Lord to do everything they can to be present before time for the services to begin? Every thinking person is well aware of the fact that unexpected things may delay anyone occasionally. The baby may suddenly become ill or need attention. A flat tire or other car trouble, a long distance telephone call, overflowing of the plumbing, coming upon an accident or traffic jam — just a host of “happen-stances" may cause people to be unavoidably detained, causing them to be late for the services. But really — is this usually the case? And especially if people find themselves being habitually late?
Surely this whole problem could be solved by each of us if we took to heart some plain Bible teaching about the attitudes we should have toward Christ and His work. Think about such passages as these: “Give diligence to make your calling and election sure." "Be ye steadfast … always abounding in the work of the Lord.” "Set your affections on things above …” "Seek ye first the 'kingdom of God …” How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?" "Lovest thou me more than these?"
It is possible for one to break the bad habit of chronic tardiness at the services of the Lord if we will just make these sentiments a vital part of our lives. (Think about it.)