In years past, I enjoyed going on dove shoots. There were times when I would carry at least a couple of boxes of shells, along with my Remington 1100 12 gauge shotgun with a improved cylinder. I was ready to harvest my limit of birds; however, there were times when the doves chose not to fly over the field. What a disappointment!
When teachers and preachers take the much needed time to prepare a lesson or a sermon in anticipation of the support of the membership of a congregation and hopefully, some visitors to be present for the class and/or the worship assembly, it is a great disappointment to the teacher and/or preacher when but a few members are present. Especially is this true when a congregation is small in number. The absent of just a few members will be quite evident. Of course the teacher/preacher will be greatly disappointed and discouraged. But consideration should be given first of all as to what our Lord Jesus Christ is thinking.
He knows what is in the heart of all men and women (John 2:24, 25). And He knows the difference when a member could attend the assemblies and don’t; and, the member who desires to attend but can’t because of circumstances beyond his control as in the case of illness. Brethren should get their priorities in order. The Lord should come first in all matters. While attendance for our assemblies is not the whole of Christianity, it is very important and needful. It was our Lord’s “custom” to be present for a worship assembly when he lived on this earth (Read carefully Luke 4:16). Our worship assemblies are meant to be, among other reasons, times to “stir up love and good works” and “exhorting one another” (Hebrews 10:24, 25). On the positive side of matters, I am always personally encouraged to see our aged saints (in spite of their ‘aches and pains’) to be present for our assemblies. I am very thankful for their examples of faithfulness. “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9,NKJV).