Monday, February 8, 2010

A Lesson from a Fireplace

Monday after Epiphany 4
February 8, 2010

The Lord be with you

The story is told of a faithful church member who stopped attending worship services. When the pastor noticed the man had missed services for more than a month, he made a visit to the man’s home.

It was a cold, wintry evening, and the pastor saw through the window the man at home alone, sitting in front of a blazing fire. The man welcomed the pastor inside, and together they walked toward the fireplace in the family room.

Before sitting down, the pastor picked up the iron poker, and carefully moved a small piece of glowing wood to the front of the fireplace. The pastor sat down, and began to ask the man about his family, his work, and his hobbies around the house. They chatted about sports, politics, and local events. After almost an hour, the pastor stood up, picked up the piece of wood in his hands, and held it out to the man.

“It’s cold,” he remarked. “Apart from the warmth of the fire, it’s now cold.”

The man paused. “Thank you, Pastor,” he replied. “I understand. I’ll see you in church on Sunday.”

Apart from Christ, from His Word and Sacraments, and from His body, the church, we are likely to grow cold. “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).

As we approach Lent (beginning Ash Wednesday, February 17) remember that most LCMS churches, like Lamb of God Lutheran, will be offering worship services on Wednesdays. If you don’t live close to Lamb of God, there are links to all the LCMS churches in South Carolina in the right-hand sidebar of this page. If you don’t live in South Carolina, there is a link on the right-hand sidebar to the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod’s webpage, where you can find a Lutheran Church in your area.

Blessings in Christ
Pastor John Rickert

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