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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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COMMOTION IN THE CONGREGATION

A church bulletin contained the following statement: "The ladies of the church have cast off clothes of every kind and they may be seen in the church basement on Friday afternoon." Different people see different things down at church. At a local restaurant after a Sunday morning church service, one dear sister in Christ asked her husband if he saw the new hat Mrs. Smith wore to church that morning. When the husband said no, she asked him if he had noticed the flaming red dress Mrs. Swartz had on. Again he said no. She pressed him further and asked if he had noted that last week Bro. Brown's hair was grey, but this week it was black. When the husband said no yet again, she exploded on him — "For crying out loud! A lot of good it does you to go to church!"

What do you see down at church? It might depend on where you sit. One brother (whose name, regrettably, I do not know) saw quite a bit. In a bulletin article with the strange title "26 in 24" he reminds us there's a lot going on while we attempt to be still and keep silence before the Lord. He writes:  "What a strange title for a bulletin article, but this does have to do with numbers. Last Sunday I was paged just before Owen got up to present his message from God's Word. Rather than disturb everyone when I was paged again, I just stood in the back of the auditorium by the door. I must say I was amazed at the commotion that goes on during a lesson. During the 24 minute lesson, 26 people got up to leave the auditorium at various times. These are some of the same people that can sit through a two-hour movie and drink a 40 ounce soda and not think a thing about it, ride in a car for three hours, or sit through a two-hour ball game. Now I do admit, three of the 26 had babies they were tending to, which I can appreciate. As for the rest, I don't understand. 23 people opening the back door 46 times, and stepping over others to get out. It is amazing the speaker has the ability to concentrate on the lesson he is presenting. Bottom line, if you don't have enough respect for the speaker, then have some respect for the presentation of God's Word."

Some commotion is to be expected in a worship assembly of any size. First Corinthians 14:33 is a familiar verse of Scripture to many in churches of Christ. It says, "For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints." Read that chapter and you will see that statement was not written to rebuke confusion and commotion and division in the religious world at large. In its original setting it was written to rebuke chaos and commotion in the worship assembly of a church of Christ.  "THE LORD IS IN HIS HOLY TEMPLE. LET ALL THE EARTH KEEP SILENCE BEFORE HIM." (Habakkuk 2:20)

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ