Bishop and Christian*, August 2016

Pick Your Pew

We’ve all heard the jokes about (or maybe known) people who were very particular about “their” pew in church. At the least, they were annoyed by people sitting where they normally sat; at worst, they brusquely told the person (perhaps a visitor), “You’re sitting in my pew!” I think that happens pretty seldom anymore, and rightly so.

However, there is something to be said for picking a seat and sticking to it week after week after week. Certainly not in order to make visitors feel unwelcome when they sit in “our” pew. But for another reason. Imagine a Christian congregation where people are very intentional about sitting in the same places every week. Imagine where you would sit. And then think of the faces around you. What if the person next to you were missing from the Lord’s house for a week or two, and you decided to give that person a call because you missed his or her presence where the Lord is present? Imagine a congregation (this one!) where the Lord’s Word and His Body and Blood are so integral to the Christian life, so formative of the communion of God’s holy ones, that a missing member of the Body of Christ is a missing part of us. These are the people whom God has placed here, and there is not a single one who is dispensable.

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