Page 7 - June 2018 - Truth & Tidings
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when the same individuals arrive roughly   drabs, all throughout the first half of the
        the same number of minutes late every   meeting. What impression will that leave
        week, it simply reveals a lack of priorities.  on his or her mind? That “God is among
          Arriving in good time reveals humility.   you of a truth,” or that “nobody cares
        Have you ever seen the bumper sticker   around here”?
        that  says  “Always  late,  but  worth  the   If you live 15 minutes from your meeting
        wait”? Think about it. Without verbalizing   place, plan to set off 25 minutes before the
        it, the late arrivals are saying “If I arrive   time. If you have young children you will
        late and disturb or delay                         need to start making noises
        others, that’s OK because     Lateness for        about getting ready an hour
        I am above the generally
        accepted schedule.”       assembly meetings       before the time! Experience
          Arriving  in  g ood    shows disrespect for     has taught us over many
                                                          generations that achieving
        time says “I don’t want to                        regular punctuality takes
        miss anything!” The open-  others and, more
        ing  hymn  sets  the  tone   importantly, for the   discipline,  diligence  and
        for  many  a  meeting.  The                       attention to detail.
        opening  prayer  is  vital.  presence of the Lord  On  the  wall  of  an  old
        The  opening  words  of  a                        meeting room I once saw
        powerful sermon that the                          a framed picture contain-
        Lord has laid on the preacher’s heart are   ing the following somewhat quaint but
        a crucial part of the whole message. But   powerful words:
        you missed it all! Oh but you say, “Better   Be in good time for all the meetings –
        late than never!” Yes, but even better to   For your own sake
        never be late.
          Arriving in good time honors Scrip-  If you are late, you get hot, hurried,
        ture, which says “Let everything be done   flurried and cannot worship happily; you
        decently and in order” (1Cor 14:40, KJV).   come tired, vexed, embarrassed: your mind
        What a lovely sight to see a family in good   and body are not free for meditation and
        time, coming in and sitting down, taking   rest. Then
        their place among God’s people, and ready   For the sake of others
        to begin at the appointed hour; without   Example  is  contagious;  coming  late
        rushing, without chaos, without disorder.   breaks fellowship, disturbs quiet, creates
        Those few minutes before the meeting   disorder,  prevents  others  having  quiet
        give us time to settle our hearts, to gather   meditation. Then
        our thoughts, and to focus on the One to   For the Lord’s sake
        Whom we gather.
          Arriving in good time sets a great ex-  Others will have just cause for reflection
        ample. It encourages others to do the same.   and talk, seeing those in fellowship on their
        It fosters a culture of reverence and order   way to the meeting after the time fixed for
        among God’s people. It also impresses   assembling.
        unbelievers. Imagine a visitor who comes   The hour being come, the Lord is there
        on time, only to find that many of the   and all ought to be in their place to receive
        “members” are coming late, in dribs and   Him; not He waiting for his people.

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