Church; a spectacular waste of time?
Which is the bigger waste of time?
A) Learning Esperanto
B) Waiting for the British government to get organised for Brexit
C) Scuba diving in search of the Loch Ness monster
D) Reading the Bible/praying
If you chose option D you can take comfort that you are probably in the majority- although, oddly enough, a majority which usually has very little experience of reading the Bible and praying. However, on the face of it, you can understand why this might be the case. After all reading some ancient book and talking to someone you can’t see may not seem that reasonable. But when the book that we are reading is the Bible and the Person that we are talking to is the Almighty God this rather does make a difference.
In Acts 6, as mentioned a couple of posts ago, things were getting a bit rocky in the early Church. Some of the widows were getting neglected in the daily food distribution, so there was an outcry. Thankfully the Apostles are on top of the game and call a meeting to sort the problem out. What is instructive for us is what they DO NOT DO.
If you put yourself in their shoes, what would you have expected them to do? If I had have been Peter I would have said; “Right- James, John and Matthew, you sprint down to Tesco’s! Judas, Thomas and Philip- you hit SuperValu’s! The rest of you get to Centra and buy up every piece of bread on offer. We will cancel all our preaching engagements and Church services until we have this problem sorted. What are you waiting for guys move, move, MOVE!”
Amazingly, this is exactly what they don’t do. Instead they tell the assembled Church- “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. 3 Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; 4 but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry”
Clearly, the Apostles were men who had priorities. They recognised that preaching the Bible and praying were actually more important than food and drink. Amazing? Actually, no.
The Bible calls itself God’s Word and is the one book in all the world which was written by men inspired by God. So to read the Bible is to hear God speak to you today. Prayer is talking to the God who made all things; making our wants and wishes known to him. True Christianity is NOT a spectator sport of showing up for a meeting to watch the ‘professionals’ in action. Rather, it is a living relationship, a two way street, between God and yourself.
To be honest I couldn’t imagine that if I tried to contact Leo Varadkar or Simon Coveney that they would give me the time of day. Even if I wrote to them I doubt if they would even see the letter. But think of this- the Creator God has pledged his undivided attention to listen us when we approach him in the Name of His Son Jesus Christ!!
So my reader, my challenge to you is this- get your hands on a Bible and start reading it at the beginning of the New Testament. Read a chapter a day. And before you start reading simply pray and ask God to speak to you through the printed page as you read. Like nothing else on this planet- this might just revolutionize your life, so be warned!