The Church Pew

Saturday, December 22, 2018
by Cody Vaughn

My wife has a refrigerator magnet that says, “I WELCOME CHANGE… as long as nothing is altered or different.” Little did I know when I married her, she got that from her Grandpa, Paul Colter. I love having conversations with Paul; he has a story for everything and has never met a stranger. One afternoon after church, we met Katie’s grandparents for lunch at Wendy’s. I could tell when we got inside that something was bothering Paul… he didn’t order his normal chili with extra cheese and crackers. “What’s going on, Paul?” I asked.

“We’re never going back to our church again!” he said flatly. I was shocked. They had family that went there with them, and just last week Paul told the preacher that he could fill in for him whenever needed.

“What are you talking about?!?” I said, “You’ve been going there for 47 years! Who is going to fill-in for the preacher when he comes down with stage fright?”

Paul looked me straight in the eye and said, “They took out Grandma’s and my favorite church pew, in the back, close to the door. Forty-seven years we’ve been going to that church and they got rid of our pew to put in a sound system! Grandma Dorothy played the organ in that church for 47 years, and they got rid of her job and our pew to put in a computer and some machine that no one knows how to work!”

Too often church becomes comfortable for us. We want our same pew, same pastor, and want to be out early enough on Sunday mornings to beat the Baptists to the good seats at the Paris Family Restaurant for lunch. When one of those things gets changed, we aren’t quite sure how to react.

In Matthew, when the rich young ruler came to Jesus to ask about obtaining eternal life, Jesus told the man to sell all of his possessions and follow Him. The man went away sad because he was not comfortable with making such an extreme change. When I find myself fearing some change, I like to remember that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (see Hebrews 13:8). Changes by Jesus are beautiful and everlasting.

After a few weeks of prodding, Paul and Dorothy went back to their church. To their surprise, they liked the new sound/display system because they didn’t have to flip hymnal pages and they could read the large print on the screen. Come to find out, Grandma didn’t even like playing the organ anymore because it made her arthritis flare up. The best part – everyone just shifted up one pew, so Paul and Dorothy still have the closest one to the door – and they can get out in plenty of time to park wherever they decide to go for lunch!

 

TODAY: Pray for one of our FCC Elders by name.