A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening. The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire.Guessing the reason for his pastor’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a big chair near the fireplace and waited. The pastor made himself comfortable but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the play of the flames around the burning logs. After some minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone. Then he sat back in his chair, still silent. The host watched all this in quiet fascination. As the one lone ember’s flame diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and “dead as a doornail.” Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. Just before the pastor was ready to leave, he picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it. As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said, “Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I shall be back in church next Sunday.”
Many of you have read this before; it’s still a good reminder and I believe it applies to marriages and friendship, even as it does to our spiritual fervor. Please know that while I do care about WOGF thriving, I care even more about His Church-at-large thriving. And it’s pretty clear, just from the book of Hebrews alone, that if Satan can get his way and can scatter the embers, he wins, at least a local victory over those embers he puts out. I certainly don’t want to be a part of having to account for that! (Hebrews 13:17)
See you Sunday if you can attend safely!