USA – The buggy, May 6, 2023
A simple faded photo was in our home
of my mother’s great-grandfather.
He was a Methodist circuit rider in
North Carolina then moved to Oklahoma.
He was sitting on his simple
horse-drawn buggy that he drove
as he visited the homes and
eventually the small communities that
sprang up on the plains of our state.
Always praying and reading the Bible and teaching those that would listen so they could learn to obey what Jesus had commanded them to do as true disciples. Many times he wouldn’t make it to the community until Saturday night or Sunday morning, then preached the Word and enjoyed fellowship with the believers and their families. There were always testimonies about the work that God had done in their community since his last visit. The day before his arrival, they had gathered together and rebuilt a neighbor’s barn that had burned down. In another family, the father and mother had both died, been buried and their children had been taken into other families to be raised. In another family, the sickness had prevented the crops from being taken care of so the other farmers took time away from their farms to help. None of these acts of sacrifice required direction from the pastor, a committee, or a program. If one part of the Body suffers, then the whole Body suffers.
Obviously, as time went on the blessings came, and the believers wanted to enjoy their benefits, but continuing to use their homes and families to take care of all of these random and unexpected needs would make it difficult to find the time to enjoy them. And slowly it began. Year after year, decade after decade. More blessings and more opportunities. That is why it worked. Slowly the “church” and the role of the “pastor” and his staff evolved. Working in cooperation with the government, and with the help of many church members that wanted to make sure these unexpected needs were being met, we have a “church” which provides believers the opportunity to believe that they are meeting the duties and responsibilities to be the hands and feet of Jesus without sacrificing what they worship the most and that is the right to our homes and families for our own pleasure and safety.
Slowly we have been led to believe that true worship is possible by supporting and participating in local church families and activities without any real sacrifice from our “own” home and family.
Repentance becomes impossible for those that believe a diluted form of “living sacrifice” is all that is required.