I finally braved Walmart again this past week. As I walked through the store I saw that they school supplies were already out. I thought that was insane. Summer just got here and they are already setting out school supplies. I then looked at the date and realized that today is the last Sunday in the month of July. Summer break only lasts one more month. One more month and all the college students will be returning. One more month and our children will be starting another year of school. One more month and we start looking towards the end of the year activities. Harvest season will be in full swing for most gardens. Turkey day is just around the corner, and before we know it Christmas and the New Year will be celebrated. Tucked into all of this business is the Gospel Meeting. Can you believe it, the fall Gospel Meeting is only 8 weeks away. Let that sink in. We only have 8 weeks to begin making preparations for our last Gospel Meeting of the year. In the Sunday afternoon bible study held this past Sunday an excellent point was made about Gospel Meetings in general. I would like to share that with those that were unable to attend the study.
We were looking at the parable of the great feast in Luke 14:16-24. Here Christ spoke of a great feast in which many were invited to attend. When it came time to actually attend the feast, excuses were given as to why a person couldn’t come to the feast. Some said that they couldn’t come because they had bought a piece of property. Another said he couldn’t come because he had just bought a team of oxen. And still another had stated he couldn’t come because he just got married. While on the surface, each of these seem like viable reasons why a person couldn’t attend the feast. Let us put this in a modern context. One just bought property. He is in the process of moving. As one who has moved often, I know how time consuming that really is. The farmer, he just got a new tractor. He is really anxious to take it out for the first time to see how it runs. The other is a newlywed. He is excited about being married and doesn’t want to take any time away from he and his new bride. In a worldly sort of way, these do not seem to be bad people. Just people busy with life.
But, this feast didn’t just spring upon them. They knew it was coming. In their culture the first invitation would have come several weeks before the feast (think of sending out wedding invitations). They would have received a reminder about a week before the feast that the day was quickly approaching. When the servants should up telling them “all things are ready” these people are really without excuse. They knew this day was quickly approaching. They had already stated that they were going to attend. And when it comes time to come, they really didn’t have a good reason to not come.
So, what does this have to do with a gospel meeting? Consider this your first invitation. The gospel meeting is only 8 weeks away. That is two months. It won’t be long and brother Weliever will be presenting lessons unto us. Not one of us come use the argument “I didn’t know.” You now know. In about 4 weeks we will have flyers available and will be announcing the meeting every time we gather together. Not one of us will be able to say, I didn’t realize it was this week already.
I encourage you to begin making preparations to be here for the meeting now. We all have access to a calendar. Mine either hands upon the wall or sits on my office desk. I can see it every morning to remind myself what I have coming up. Others might have it on their computer at work or on their phones. I know that there are apps out there they will text you important reminders when “deadlines” are approaching. Pick one form or another so that you can see that day, that week approaching.
Make certain that you keep other things clear. The excuses provided by those that declined to come to the feast was life. Life just got to busy. Their host was not to happy about it either. Do not let life get in your way of attending the meeting. Not school, not work, not your spouse, not your kids. Think about it like this, what lesson are you sending your children if you don’t come. Are you telling them that baseball is more important? A school dance is more important? A football game is more important? Or perhaps that your favorite program on TV is more important.
Now, I realize Christ didn’t teach this parable to tell us we need to come to our gospel meetings. He did however teach us that life should never get in the way of our relationship with God. Whether it be during a gospel meeting or simply Tuesday.
Grinnell church of Christ
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Preparing for Our Gospel Meeting
Volume 5 Issue 33