At a distant time and in a place that does not matter, as Jerry and I were traveling, there came a Sunday, and as is our custom we planned to visit a local church. On the day before the Sunday in question, we located the church and reassured ourselves of their worship time for we had recalled from a previous trip that their schedule varied from what is ordinarily observed. Sure enough, their large outdoor sign noted the service schedule to be as we recalled.
Sunday. We dressed ourselves, tucked Bibles under our arms and drove to the church. As soon as we turned the corner, I saw there was a problem.
“There’s no one here, Jerry.” The parking lot was empty. When Jerry pulled in front of the church, I looked at the entrance door and saw there a white paper which seemed to have writing on it. “I’ll see what it says.”
I walked up the straight sidewalk, and saw that tacked to the church door was notice of a change in the Sunday service. The change had become effective four months before the day I stood and stared at the sign. Four months earlier the church schedule had been changed and four months later the sign in front of the church announced a schedule that varied many hours from what actually transpired every Sunday. Hours before we arrived the opening hymn had been sung, a sermon was expounded, and someone had prayed the benediction.
I admit to being irritated; not because I had been inconvenienced, for my discomfort was negligible, but because someone–at least it appeared that way–took so casually this business–this business of the church. The Church conducts the most important business in the world–a business that refuses the confines of mere earthly institution, but one that bursts with energy as it encompasses ministry–the ministry of healing and saving and pointing the lost to Jesus. That’s our business, that’s our charge.
(Pastor Tom Foster)
The Bible indicates the business of the Kingdom was important to Jesus, and I strongly suspect it is still important to Him. I think it well within the mark to say that God expects us to carry out the business of the church in this earth with precision, extreme care and graceful skill. Remember that when Jesus was yet a child, He lingered in the temple, and when His parents found Him, and probably scolded Him, He spoke memorable words.
“Wist ye not that I must be about my father’s business?” Luke 2:49
“Seeest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.” Proverbs 22:29
“(Be) not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;” Romans 12:11
Surely we understand the business of the church to be urgent and pressing. Let us not disdain God’s work, nor allow His house to appear shoddy and haphazardly operated. Rather, let us minister in a such a way that Jesus and His Work is acclaimed to be noble, superior and of the highest level of excellence.