Well Worn Seats – A Defense of Having “Your Seat” at Church

pewIt is something that will get a chuckle out of most regular church goers. To what do I refer?  I speak of the the idea that many church regulars have “their spot” or “their seat” in the pew each Sunday.  Cartoons and drawn (like the one to the left)  and anecdotes are told about the times when a guest happened to sit in someone’s seat before the “rightful owner” could get there.  It is suggested that such an occurrence has the power to disrupt everything going on that day.

Some will even suggest that such a tendency is a sure sign that a church is just not all that friendly.  They will suggest that churches that truly want to grow will try to change this tendency in their church.  Truly hospitable churches will make sure every seat is open to whoever wants it.   

But I would like to make the case of why having your own seat in the church is a great thing.  Just this last Advent,  a women who was busy with all sorts of things she was helping with in the community came into the building just before our midweek service began.  This is what she said, “I wasn’t going to come tonight because I had so much to do, but then I was driving by church, knew it was just about time for service, and thought, ‘I am going to go in, sit down in my place, listen and rest.'”

Each person in their own home has their favorite place to sit or recline.  They often are not truly at rest at their home until their derriere finds its way to that hallowed place.  There can the concerns of the rest of the life be left behind for a time.

Why should church be any different?  In one feels at home at church, that is an awesome thing.  If they have come to understand that true rest occurs there, that is Spirit-wrought wisdom.  And if they have a place at Church that makes them recognize that they are right where they belong, that should be lauded and not maligned.  If they are at home where Jesus makes His home, let us rejoice.

Oh, of course if someone demands someone move in order that they can have their seat back, that would be poor hospitality to strangers and worthy of a brotherly rebuke, but really how often does that happen? Far more often, a person claims their seat because it is just where they belong, just where they can find the rest they need, just where Jesus comes and meets them.  And that is a good thing without question.

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This entry was posted on Monday, January 18th, 2016 at 7:19 pm and is filed under Theology and Practice. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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