Closed on Boxing Day

It turns out that Salem Chapel was a remarkable church yesterday. We are a fairly unremarkable fellowship, most of the time. So for what are we deemed unusual or noteworthy? Yesterday, we were open. Lots of churches, it would seem, decided to stay shut. It was not fear of the virus that bolted closed the doors, but a fear that two lots of services in as many days was simply too much trouble. So having opened on Saturday 25th December for a short service of worship, it was deemed unnecessary to bother opening up on Sunday 26th. Doubtless, simpering excuses about giving enough family time and rest to the worshippers would have been professed, but, frankly, I think it is all bunkum. Churches remained closed because pastors are lazy and leaderships indolent. Our own numbers were down, but that was not the point. If a church faithfully opens up, and none attend, it does not matter. If the people would attend, but could not because a sluggish leadership failed to organise public worship, may God deal with those hirelings and wastrels. There is little wonder the evangelical church in the British Isles is feeble and frail; instead of feeding the sheep, the shepherds prefer to put their feet up and watch TV. Perhaps there were some good reasons for not opening churches for public worship yesterday. Although I cannot think of any, such fellowships will be relieved they do not have to answer to me. More troubling, they will have to answer to God. 

And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them.”

Ezekiel 34:1-6