Someone’s Sitting In My Chair!
by Rickie Miyake
So how are you all doing with the recent changes taking place from our transition to Pastor Rocky from Pastor Cory? For example, having a combined service instead of the 8:00 and 11:00 services...
Here’s a quiz for you:
You used to attend the 8:00 service. As you walk into the sanctuary for the new combined service, horror of horrors, there is someone sitting in your regular seat! Do you:
(a) Let the offending party know that they are in your seat, emphasizing that this is causing you to stumble. Let that sink in by paraphrasing 1 Corinthians 8:13 - if sitting in my brother’s seat causes him to stumble, I shall never sit in that seat again.
(b) Acknowledge that perhaps the person in your seat normally sits there for the 11:00 service but you are accustomed to sitting there at 8:00. Offer the noble solution of role playing, allowing him to be Abraham and you be Lot, as you replay Genesis 13:8-9. Tell him, “Let’s not have any quarreling between us because we are brothers. Is not this seat before us? Let us decide who sits in it. As Abraham (you) told Lot (me), if you decide to sit in this chair then I shall seek a chair elsewhere or if you go elsewhere I shall sit in this chair. Well, I choose this chair. As for you, there’s some good seats over there.”
(c) Let the person in the chair know that both of you want to sit in that same chair and then suggest using the wisdom of Solomon as written in 1 Kings 3 to decide. Tell him, “How about we cut the chair in two?” Then wait for the other person to offer you the chair because he cares about it and doesn’t want it to be damaged.
(d) Graciously greet your brother and introduce yourself if you don’t already know him and then find another seat. As long as you can hear the Word, all the seats are great.
Okay, you know I’m just clowning around but I think we all have to admit we do get into our comfort zones and sometimes change bends us out of shape. We settle into a routine and then change takes place and yanks us out. Life is one big cycle of them.
A couple thousand years ago, Jesus Christ walked this earth and represented change. Many initially embraced Him for the miracles and healings He performed, but then rejected Him because He took them out of their comfort zones by the things He called them to do. The thing is, the change He represented was really the fulfillment of Scripture, the Messiah to whom it had pointed to since the beginning. The entire Bible is about Him!
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. - John 1:1
But the people had settled into their routines and didn’t recognize Him. Then when Jesus was crucified and then resurrected, it was a huge change for those who had followed Him, there was much mourning because their Lord was now in their eyes, forever gone. None expected Him back despite what Jesus had told them. When He appeared, His disciples and Mary Magdalene initially didn’t recognize Him because they had taken their eyes off the Living Word.
It’s so easy to let change distract us, disturbing our focus and our minds begin to wander. Having two services was so much more convenient. It’s so dark in the Sanctuary I can hardly see. Shouldn’t the pastor who delivers the sermon also deliver the benediction? Those are some thoughts that ran through my mind during the post-Pastor Cory services, along with comparing Pastor Rocky’s style to that of Pastor Cory, and contrasting the new stage background to the old. I found myself having to get back on track and pay attention to the message.
Reflecting, I realize regardless of what’s changed with the form of our services and church structure, I am thankful that the substance has remained constant, which is to seek and focus on the truth. It was and still is all about Jesus, and all about the Word. The enemy would love to derail you and me from this but we must persevere to maintain our focus on Him who is our rock and foundation.
1 John 1:1 refers to Jesus as the “Word of life.” While He is manifested in different forms throughout the Bible, the substance is always the same! And the truth of the Word being preached each Sunday morning from the pulpit is the same on the left side of the sanctuary as it is on the right, front or rear, i.e., in every seat, amen? Amen!