MONDAY MINUTES With Pastor Chris McCool (September 7, 2020)

Happy Labor Day to everyone! Today is a national holiday, celebrated every year on the first Monday in September. Most of us will enjoy a day off from work, and likely will engage in some family activity involving a good meal and fun family times.

According to the Department of Labor’s website, Labor Day “is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” There is no doubt that our nation was built upon the backs of men and women who have worked long hours in jobs involving manual labor throughout the years.

My parents were part of that labor force. My dad, Harold McCool, was a farmer all his life. My mother, Diane McCool, was a stay-at-home mom who labored just as hard as Dad did, often working right beside him on the farm. For almost his entire 80 years on this earth, he would get up by daylight and work until dark, every day including Saturday, to provide for his family in the way the Bible teaches that we should do.

Except Sundays. Oh, there certainly was work to do on the farm on Sundays – chickens still have to be tended to, cows have to be fed, and the occasional “ox in the ditch” scenario played out on our farm just like every other farm. Occasionally Dad would be late for church, or have to miss the services, due to a cow having trouble calving, or a feed line in the chicken house being broken, or maybe a water leak happening somewhere on the farm. But those days were the exception, not the rule!

You see, Dad and Mom realized that the most important priority they could set for the family was the priority of church. The Kingdom of God was paramount in their lives! It took precedence over all else – work, recreation, sports, hunting, and all other activities. Church attendance was NOT optional in our household! It was simply a given in our home that Sunday was the Lord’s day, a day for us to attend church and focus upon Him.

The writer of Hebrews tells us this: “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Heb. 10:23-25). Dad took this admonition seriously! I can count on both hands the number of times in the years I lived at home that we were not in church on Sunday morning.

How important it is for us to take our church attendance obligations seriously! Did you know that we as members are described as part of the “Body of Christ”? What if you decided to go to a football game, and got all dressed up and ready to go, but then one of your feet decided to stay behind? I know that sounds crazy, but think about it! You’d be crippled, wouldn’t you? Your experience at that event would be lessened by the fact that you are one-footed and limping, and you’d sure be worried about that foot that stayed away, wouldn’t you? And suppose it was the greatest football game you’d ever attended, with a finish that left you stunned and ecstatic – that poor foot that stayed behind missed the whole thing! All the rest of your body got to experience the most amazing event in your lifetime of attending football games, but a part of your body could only be told about it later and would only be able to imagine what it would have been like to be there. How sad!

Maybe this sounds outlandish, but that’s exactly what happens when a member of the Body of Christ stays away from the church service whenever their local church meets. When you aren’t there, child of God, the entire local body suffers. Even if nobody else suffers, the pastor does! It is a discouraging thing to the preacher to look out over the congregation and see empty seats. One of the quickest ways to discourage your pastor is not to show up! In addition, I’ve been in some services that were truly spiritual “mountaintop experiences,” where the Holy Spirit “showed up and showed out”! The preaching was blessed, love was flowing from breast to breast among the members, and everyone agreed it was one of the best meetings ever! But one or more of our members were not in attendance, and for those not in attendance I could never convey to them the glorious nature of what they had missed..

We ought to labor to provide for our families, but we must not let our work or any other thing get in the way of our church attendance. Church should NEVER be an “optional” part of our lives! And if you are not a member of a local church, make sure you correct that! If you need directions or contact information for a primitive baptist church near you, get in touch with me today on this website! God desires and requires our participation, and is pleased when we set the Kingdom of God as THE priority in our lives.

Happy Labor Day! May your labors in the Kingdom of God be blessed.

Elder Chris McCool, Pastor