Feeling kind without acts of kindness contradicts holy love. Holy love acts kindly, even when it doesn’t feel like it.

ENCOURGMFor about two years I looked for a congregation where I could practice the will of God Who expects that “We must also consider how to encourage each other to show love and to do good things. We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming” (Hebrews  10:24-25 God’s Word). In the end I began to assemble with a very small house church.

Why?

For many weeks I attended an assembly nearby. The worship had no hymns, choir or any music. The ritual was simple. When it ended people just left. Only the priest ever spoke to me as he did to everyone shaking hands as they left.

So for a few weeks I went to an assembly in a nearby village. Barely two dozen people attended. The lay pastor and his wife spoke to me, but no one else did.

VISITORNext I attended another assembly out in the countryside. I knew one person there. One Sunday she  invited me for the luncheon held, apparently, once a month. Otherwise I wouldn’t even have known it was happening. No one else approached me, though on some Sundays the lay pastor said hello.

I attended all these assemblies (which call themselves churches) for a period of time, and explicitly told the pastor/priest I was looking for a congregation to join. I had no problem with style of worship or official doctrine in any of these groups. When I stopped attending not one person, not one pastor contacted me to inquire why I had stopped, or if I was sick or in trouble.

My experience tells me that everyone “felt” kind. But refusing to extend invitations of hospitality, ignoring follow-up and sticking to the same circle of friends or family every week does not express kindness. It sends a message of apathy or contempt.

HOMEMIN“Above all, love each other warmly, because love covers many sins. Welcome each other as guests without complaining” (1 Peter 4:8-9 God’s Word).

Now religion is incapable of living love, based as it is in power, forms and programmes. But my question is, “Were there no spiritual people attending those assemblies?”

“As holy people whom God has chosen and loved, be sympathetic, kind, humble, gentle, and patient. Put up with each other, and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Above all, be loving. This ties everything together perfectly” (Colossians 3:12-14 God’s Word).

I tell this story primarily to encourage every one to gather together with other believers even though it kind of makes me wonder if there is any kind of attendee who cares enough to be kind. May you be the exception!