And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:9-10
Here is a question for you: what does the Sunday after Thanksgiving, the Sunday after Christmas, and the Sunday after Easter have in common?
Give up? The answer is for your pastor they are often the most depressing Sundays of the year.
That's because, after their congregations have celebrated those grand festivals and posted the largest attendance figures of the year, the following Sunday everybody seems to act like they need a vacation. As I said, it can get discouraging. That's why, knowing those down Sundays are coming, pastors spend considerable time wracking their brains on how to keep the worship momentum going.
Well, and I say this tongue-in-cheek, I have discovered a solution.
Actually, it's not my idea. It comes from The Philadelphia Citizen, which announced they are going to run a lottery. That's right, after the upcoming mayoral election on November 3rd, some lucky voter is going to win $10,000. The folks at The Philadelphia Citizen hope to reverse a 40-year decline in voter participation. I can see why. In 1971 about 77 percent of the possible voters cast their ballots, but in 2011 that number had dropped to 20 percent.
So, what do you think? How would it be if our congregations offer a $10,000 prize to be given to a random worshipper on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter?
As I said, the suggestion is made tongue-in-cheek. None of our congregations would ever do such a thing. That's partially because none of our congregations have an extra $30,000. But it's mainly because you shouldn't have to bribe people to do the right thing.
We shouldn't have to bribe people to vote, and we shouldn't have to woo them into church by waving a possible check in front of them.
The truth is many people have died to give us the liberty we enjoy as citizens. To not vote is to treat their sacrifice with incredible disregard.
Similarly, our Lord Jesus Christ lived, died and rose so we might be forgiven of our sins and granted eternal life. Along with those gifts, we also have been given the opportunity to live a life that glorifies Him and worships Him.
So you can cast your vote for the Savior with your worship, or you can withhold that worship and cast your vote for the opposition candidate.
It seems the choice would be a simple one.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks the Savior has done that which was necessary to save me. I rejoice that He never took a day off or said He needed a break. May I also be faithful in showing my appreciation for His saving sacrifice. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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