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 -
If you want to see world-class beer drinkers, you have to go to the Czech Republic where the average citizen annually puts away more than 37 gallons of the brew. In contrast, Austrians and Germans manage to down a meager 27 gallons of beer per person. Australia, which is 19th on the list of beer-drinking nations, is hardly to be mentioned with her measly 19 gallons per person.
No, the Australians are a long way from setting any per-capita beer-drinking records. That being said, nobody can claim those folks don't love their suds. They do.
As proof, I share a report from the West Australia District Police who have made some beer-related arrests. No, the folks arrested weren't blitzed, drunk or "two sheets to the wind." They were arrested for having had bad priorities. For example, there was the man who
* had used his seatbelt to secure and keep safe his two cases of beer, while his children in the car were totally unrestrained;
* there was the individual who was transporting cases of beer with a suspended license. And if that wasn't bad enough, the individual had seat belted the beer and placed the children on adult laps and in the car's foot wells. Oh, you might want to know one of those children was less than one year old.
The local superintendent says, "It shows some of the attitudes of some of our road users in the way they see their priorities."
Wrong priorities. Wrong priorities are not confined to Australians seat belting their beer, while allowing their children to run free range. No, the church also has folks on their books who have bad priorities.
Need an example?
If so, here's one: every time I took a call to a congregation I found the names of people on our roster who hadn't shown up in church for more than three years. Understand, I'm not talking about people who had moved away; nor am I referring to the shut-ins who couldn't come.
No, I'm speaking of local folks who were in fine health. These were people who could do lawn work on Sunday, or go golfing, or fishing, or to the cabin. They seemed fit enough to do just about anything ... anything other than come to worship.
Understand what that means. Three years of not worshipping means 156 Sundays came and went, and each time they decided not to fellowship, commune, make an offering, or praise the Savior who gave His life to win their salvation.
That's some serious bad priorities, and it's not pleasing to the Lord who made some great sacrifices so we and our families could be forgiven and granted a home in heaven. Souls who have stood at the manger, watched at the cross, mourned at the tomb, and rejoiced when it was emptied, should respond in a better way. They need better priorities. And it's our privilege to try and help them.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, may we who have been saved be given right priorities and a heart ready to worship You for all You have done. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries