Where Have You Been?

An article published in the Greenfield, Mo., Vedette, 3/11/2009

A while back a Florida advertising agency posted some non-denominational signs for an anonymous client. These billboards were reproduced across the country, calling people to a relationship with God. Here are a few of my favorites.

“C’mon Over and Bring the Kids” – God

“You Think It’s Hot Here?” – God

“We Need to Talk” – God

“Keep Using My Name in Vain and I’ll Make Rush Hour Longer” – God

“Loved the Wedding, Invite Me to the Marriage” – God

“Need Directions?” – God

“Have You Read My #1 Best Seller? There Will Be A Test.” – God

“Tell The Kids I Love Them.” – God

While these billboards bring a chuckle, they weren’t meant just for humor. The client obviously wanted to emphasize the desire of God to be present in our everyday lives, His desire to be a part of all we do.

While reading about these billboards, I started thinking about excuses people give for not attending church. I’ve come across some great ones, and I thought I’d share a few with you. Obviously, none of you ever use these excuses!

The church is full of hypocrites! I think this is the top, all-time excuse. He got his feelings hurt once and since then everyone else’s failings have become his excuse to avoid church. Never mind that there are probably more people thinking the same thing about him! (Note: the use of “him” or “her” in this article are really gender inclusive. I’m talking about all of us!)

I’ve been gone so long, I’m afraid the roof will cave in! I’ve checked out most of the churches around in the area, and they seem pretty stable, not to mention the walls. I think you should give them a try. You’ll probably be surprised.

I’m so tired at the end of the week that I have to rest on Sunday. God did declare a day of rest, a Sabbath. So why not come to church and find rest for your spirit, too? Heck, you might even get a nap during the sermon!

I don’t have the right kind of clothes for church. Okay, so what is the “right kind” of clothing? The term “Sunday best” isn’t part of our culture any longer. Think about it. God sees you all week long, at your best and your worst. I don’t think He would be offended to see you in church in your comfortable clothes.

There isn’t anyone my age. Do you know why that is? It is because you use the excuse, and so does everyone else. If you all would stop using the excuse, we would have lots of people your age!

I was forced to as a child. You were forced to eat, change your underwear, and wash behind your ears, too. Have you quit doing those things? Hope not. Or is that the reason everyone moves to the other sidewalk when you walk by?

I’m not good enough. I’ll go when I get my life straightened out. This has to be the most confused excuse of all. When people insist they need to get better first, instead of coming to the place where God will straighten out their lives, they are missing a tremendous truth. Having problems? Don’t be afraid or embarrassed. Church is the place to find hope and help.

Whatever the reason for not attending church, it all boils down to priorities. Whatever takes the priority in your life will get the most attention.

I’ll be honest with you: I’d love to sleep in some Sunday mornings, read the paper—especially the comics, and watch TV in my pajamas. There have been many Sundays when I was at church because I was supposed to be, and not always because I wanted to. But because I am the pastor and have a job to do, I get up and move.

In front of our church, at the base of the sign, you will find the words “All Are Welcome.” We want people to come and worship with us, to see if this might be their church home. So I’d like to change that phrase to “You Are Invited.” You see, God invites you to worship with your brothers and sisters in Christ. God wants to fill you with the Holy Spirit to help you be the best you can be. So why not come this next Sunday—no excuses, no complaints, no whining. You might actually like it!

Mary Kay Glunt, Pastor
Ebenezer Presbyterian Church


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