Recently, I went to church while on vacation in Gulfport, Mississippi. At the end of a row of nice padded chairs was an older chair with arm rests, and a big sign fastened with transparent tape to the back of the seat. The sign read: "PLEASE DO NOT USE, MOVE OR SIT IN THIS CHAIR. THIS IS MS. ______ [name withheld] CHURCH CHAIR. THANK YOU."
I had to ask the story behind the chair. The members told me that it belonged to a lady who put the chair there and sat in it faithfully every Sunday, but woe to anybody who dared sit in her seat. When I asked why she couldn’t sit in one of the other padded seats, they replied that she wanted the arm rests.
I’ve heard of people who put a seat cushion in their favorite seat, and I’ve heard of people who have asked members and visitors to get up from their favorite spot. However, this was the first time I had heard of somebody placing their own chair in church.
Most of us would just laugh at this, and find another seat. But this extreme example should be a caution to all of us.
While it is a good thing to find a seat in church, God does not call us to just sit there. As the Old Testament prophet warns, "Woe to those who are at ease in Zion" (Amos 6:1, HCSB). Scripture tells us to get up from our seats and go.
When Moses met Yahweh at the burning bush, the Lord did not tell him to sit down and bask in the warmth. Yahweh told him, "Therefore, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh." (Exodus 3:1-10). When Isaiah received his vision from the Lord, and Isaiah said, "Here I am. Send me," Yahweh told him to "Go!" (Isaiah 6:8-9). When Jesus arose from the dead, He told His disciples, "Go, therefore, and make disciples" (Matthew 28:19, HCSB).
So if you have a favorite seat at church, that’s fine. But if you can go get a lost person and give up your seat for him, that’s better.
(Copyright 2012 by Bob Rogers. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Read this column each Friday in the Herald. Visit my blog at www.bobrogers.me.)