Matthew 11:2-15; 2 Peter 2:17-22
Concerning church attendance, there is good news and bad news. The good news is numbers have recently increased. The bad news is attendance usually picks up just before Christmas. Many who have lapsed in their faith return during Advent in anticipation of Christmas. Seeing evergreens and singing carols provides a spiritual lift to an otherwise dim world view. Still, Jesus asks, “What did you go out to see?” Did you come to see decorations or watch the children’s Christmas pageant? Or did you come to hear the prophetic voice calling you to repentance?
Especially in December, worldly powers tempt us with prospects which appear promising but have no redeeming value. Even Christians fall into the trap of seeking fulfillment from traditional visions and experiences inside or outside the Church. They come to renew faith, yet once the celebration is over they return to their lapsed status. St. Peter has strong words to describe this condition. (2Pet 2:22) Truly, what good is it for one who is washed to return to the stains of a fallen world?
In December, attendance increases. Welcome and love those who fill the pews only at Christmas. In doing this, perhaps they will respond to the prophetic voice.
Prayer: Speak to us, O God, that we may hear and follow your ways. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by David Nuottila, Pastor of Union Lutheran Church in Salisbury, NC.