You Were Late

by David Padfield

We had visitors at worship services on Sunday morning. It would have been nice for you to meet and welcome them into our midst. Unfortunately, you couldn't do this because you weren't in the building yet—you were late!

Our visitors needed help finding the proper classrooms for their children. Someone should have helped them. You couldn't—you were late!

Our visitors didn't have a Bible class book which would help them follow along in our study. It would have been nice for someone to make sure they got a copy before class or maybe to share their own book with them. You couldn't help them—you were late!

Our visitors needed help finding the proper page in their Bible—they did not have years of Bible study behind them. You could have helped them, but you were still on your way to services. You got up late, left home late and walked into the meetinghouse late.

Before we started Bible class, one of the brethren fervently prayed unto God and mentioned by name some who were sick. I know you didn't hear him and couldn't say "Amen" to his prayer—you were late!

When Bible class began the teacher announced the page in the class book where the brethren would be studying today—of course, you couldn't hear him either—you were late!

When you finally stumbled into the classroom you had no idea what the class was discussing. You would have known if you would have gotten up on time and left your house when you should have in order to get to services on time—but you were late!

The person beside you on the pew missed part of what was taught because they were trying to help you find the proper page in the class book and in your Bible. It was a shame that you had to disturb them—but you were late!

Not only were you late, but so were your children. They got to disrupt their classroom just like their parents did. It's nice to see that your children are being trained to put God first and worship "in Spirit and in truth."

By getting to services late you got to show your children how much the Lord really means to you. If someone important had announced their intention of visiting with us on Sunday, you would have made sure that you were here on time. But, since its only the Lord Jesus Christ who has announced His intention of being with us (Matthew 18:20), you felt no need to get here on time, so you were late!

By showing up late every Sunday you don't have to worry about your children getting to know others who are interested in spiritual things. Why, if they got to class early your children might even look at the bulletin boards their teacher decorated with Bible scenes or have time to review the class book their teacher spent weeks preparing.

One advantage of coming in late is that your car is closer to the parking lot exit—you can get home sooner and complain about not getting anything out of services.