Focal Passage: Isaiah 6:1-8
Nancy B Knott was my 9th grade English teacher. Mrs. Knott was a good teacher, but like most good English teacher she had some quirks. Her attendance policy was unforgiving, for example. But the thing I remember most about Mrs. Knott was the full week of class time we spent watching Gone with the Wind.
Now before you launch a “fire Mrs. Knott for wasting valuable class room time” campaign let me explain. Gone with the Wind is an important piece of American literature. Historians, folks who study literature, and sociologists all agree the statement of the work is a crucial part of America’s growing up after the wounds of war and the social injustices of slavery. But I digress. One reason Mrs. Knott had us watch it, at least so she said, was that “chivalry is dead.”
Mrs. Knott made it her goal to bring it back to life showing us what chivalry in the deep antebellum south looked like up close and personal for a week. Break from “real work” or not, the kids (me included) loved it. We may have started the week planning on napping and writing notes, but the picture captivated us and Mrs. Knott made her points. Not the least of which was the one about chivalry, as I believe I actually opened the door a time or two for a female classmate on the way out of 9th grade English!
To use Mrs. Knott’s point, while amending her words . . . “Churchmanship is dead.”
As a lifetime denominational servant, I won’t make many friends by saying that statement is especially true of those “in the church business,” but it is nonetheless true. But it is not just those of us who “do church” all week who fail to do it on Sunday, churchmanship is dead, or at least dying.
When Isaiah was called to be a prophet, that call happened in the temple. He literally “met God” in the temple. So much is made today of daily quite time, and personal devotion, and please hear me say the need for such exists, but there is also a need to be in church. We need the fellowship of other believers. We need to be in God’s house, among God’s people. We need to be involved in the doing, on a week-by-week basis, of church.
And that doesn’t mean just once a week, but all throughout the week. From Wednesday night prayer meetings to committee meetings and of course to Sunday morning worship . . . we must meet God in the temple.