October 14, 2010
This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me. Matthew 15:8 (KJV)
Not so long ago, a pastor shared with me an event that took place the night he had one of his church meetings.
Although he couldn't exactly remember what the meeting was all about, he could remember what happened that night.
The pastor had brought his son to church with him. That way, while dad was consulting with the congregational leaders, the lad could play on the school jungle gym. Indeed, for quite a while the child had played, just as dad said he should.
But meetings are meetings and this particular gathering went longer -- far longer -- than anyone had expected.
Eventually, the door to the church fellowship hall swung open ever ... so ... slowly, and ever so slowly a head peeked around the corner. Dad excused himself, went over to the boy and asked, "What do you want, son?"
"Nothing, Daddy" the boy replied. Then, after a bit of a hesitation, he added, "Daddy, I just want to be near you."
As it was growing dark, the father did what he had to do. He took his son's hand in his own, went back to the meeting, sat down, and hoisted the boy onto his lap. As he looked around the table, he could see the others were none too pleased.
They knew the pastor's son, and they knew he was a wiggler.
But that night the boy didn't wiggle, and he didn't fall asleep. He just sat. He sat quietly, relishing this special time with his dad. Against all the odds which had been placed against the boy, he did what he said he wanted to do: he was content to be near his father.
As I look at the world, I see men, women, and children who are doing their very best to get away from their Heavenly Father. There are even Christians whose greatest delight seems to be to go off and play on their own. For all intents and purposes, they seem to have no desire to be with their Creator. As the verse says, "their heart is far from Me."
Far better for all of us to come to the Lord, to come in prayer, in worship, in Bible study, and in personal devotion time. Far better to come to Him and say, "Daddy, I just want to be near you." Then, having made that commitment, it is right that we should settle in and enjoy being in the presence of our Lord who loves us so very much.
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, because of Jesus I am able to come to You and be comfortable with You and be near You. Now I pray You will call into Your presence those who are wandering, and those who are lost. Let them know the joy of sins forgiven and the comfort You alone can give. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries