Weekly Devotion
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
 
And Nobody Said Anything
 
   Recently, I was at a wedding in the Midwest. It was a beautiful wedding service in the church as two faithful young Christians became husband and wife. Everything was well planned. Even the photographers following the service were efficient and timely as they met the challenge of taking pictures of both sides of the large families. And the wedding reception also was great as there was a bounty of food and a great mixing of the people.  But nobody said anything.
 
   It was not a big problem at all, but I did not realize that my tie was sticking out from my shirt collar in the back.  My wife who is my wardrobe-in-chief was not there because she is not able to travel this summer. Most would not have noticed anything about the tie but likely all the people sitting behind me in the church did. And some must have noticed it while we were taking pictures. But nobody said anything – until later at the reception it was pointed out to me.  I did not feel embarrassed; it was and is not a big deal to me. And possibly I would not have said anything if some else’s tie was showing. My point of “Nobody Said Anything” is a lead-in to something very serious where somebody should say something.
 
   It is when a person goes astray from the Lord – and nobody says anything. Nobody seems concerned about the seriousness of the situation. True, many might not realize what has happened and therefore would not say anything. But those fellow Christians from the church and/or from the family who know the situation need to speak up out of concern for the straying person’s soul. Jesus died for that person,; Jesus wants that person to remain His child; Jesus wants that person to be in heaven. And Jesus wants Christians to have love for Him and for that straying person. Will you say something?  You don’t have to wax eloquent but you need to show your love and concern. The Apostle Paul says that those who are spiritual ought to seek to restore one who is straying. (Galatians 6:1)
 
   The same approach should be used for one of whom you are aware that has not been in church for awhile hearing God’s Word and communing. We are told, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25) 
 
  Let us encourage one another (and we all need various kinds of encouragement). Let us speak when we ought to speak. I think that most of us have acquaintances and family members who have strayed or no longer go to church. I would hope that they could never say, “Nobody Said Anything.”  And should you and I stray, would we not want someone to say something to us in an attempt to get us back to the Lord?
 
  Stanza 6 of Hymn 461 in Christian Worship has many thoughts in it including the main point of this article.
 
Help me speak what's right and good
And keep silence on occasion;
Help me pray, Lord, as I should,
Help me bear my tribulation;
Help me die and let my spirit
Everlasting life inherit.
 
Pastor Dan Pautz
pdpautz@cox.net

 

 

Emmanuel Ev. Lutheran Church • 715 W Southern Ave, Tempe, Arizona 85282 • (480) 967-3983
church@elctempe.org