October 1, 2014
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25
Scanning through various news stories for the Daily Devotions, one grabbed my attention. In big, bold letters it screamed, "SAGINAW FUNERAL HOME OFFERS DRIVE-THRU VIEWING."
Most of us can understand drive-thru banking. If you've only got a single transaction or two, it makes sense. We've made use of drive-thru fast food. When we're traveling and trying to cover a lot of ground, eating in the vehicle is practical, but a drive-thru funeral home? Somehow, that seemed just a bit tacky.
Think about it. Who is so rushed they can't spend a few minutes getting out of their car to pay their respects? What kind of relationship do you have with a person if a quick wave is all he gets as you go driving by? Maybe drive-thru viewing makes sense if the dearly departed was part of your carpool, but otherwise ....
I read the article and got "the rest of the story."
It told how the funeral home's owner had been moved by, and responded to, a widow who was physically unable to attend her husband's wake and funeral. It shared how he knew many other elderly who had worries about walking on winter's slippery sidewalks. He said he put in the drive-thru to help those whose spirits were willing but whose flesh was weak.
While not a convert to the idea, by the article's end, I had stopped fuming.
Then I started to wonder, "How does the Lord feel about drive-thru Christianity? By that I don't mean those churches that have an outdoor service at a community drive-in, nor am I speaking about those who have summer worship in a park or grove.
Nope, we're referring to people who promised to "be faithful until death" but who aren't. Their names are on the congregational roster, but they aren't in the church building. The closest they get to the Savior, who gave His life for their forgiveness and salvation, is when they drive by the church building and maybe feel a twinge of conscience which says, "You know, I ought to go back to church some Sunday."
But "some Sunday" never seems to come.
Well, nobody has to wonder how the Lord feels about such apathy and indifference. Scripture is filled with encouragements to faithful worship, but one of my favorites is from Psalm 92:1-2, where it says: "It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to Your Name, O Most High; to declare Your steadfast love in the morning, and Your faithfulness by night."
Forget the drive-by Christianity. Instead, let's praise God in the morning, the evening, and in between.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks for the complete dedication of my Savior. Since His life was offered for my salvation, may my worship show my appreciation. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries