Consider your Ways.

We are astonished beyond measure at the trifling and unreasonable excuses Christians often make for staying at home from the Lord’s Table. It all arises from such a low state of soul that the heart’s action towards that blessed One who was crucified, has become so feeble that in some cases it might almost be questioned whether it pulsates at all.

A little headache, a slight cold, a trifling indisposition, a melancholy feeling, a wet day: all serve in turn to empty seats which by right should be filled. It is rather far to walk, the day is hot, I feel rather upset, there is so much to do when you have a family: all are excuses which should not be entertained in view of the Lord’s request on the night of His betrayal, “This do in remembrance of Me.” The Son of God, having before Him the appalling death of the Cross (all for our sake), could set His face steadfastly towards Jerusalem, where He had to suffer; whilst we have to-day the melancholy spectacle of some of His disciples excusing themselves from His Table by all manner of excuses.

Let us observe the ways of these Christians when it is Monday and not Sunday, when their objects in life are to the front. What an astonishing transformation! Now the difficulties of home-life and business are undertaken with energy and persistence. Hail, rain or indisposition, these people will be found attending to their duties, and will smile and say, “Diligent in business, you know!” At home, too, see how the children are making ready for school in time for 9 a.m., whilst on Lord’s day morning it was a hurry-scurry to be ready for 11 o’clock. “Now, therefore, thus saith the Lord of Hosts, consider your ways” (Haggai 1:5). The heart is off its centre, Christ. Once upon a time we heartily sang—

“Thou, my everlasting portion
More than friend or life to Me!”

and a once favourite text was, “My Beloved is white and ruddy, He is the chiefest among ten thousand” (S. of S. 5:10). It used to be, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord “(Psa. 122:1). The day was when the memorial feast would not have been missed had we to weather a storm to be there. We would sit at His table and weep as hearts were softened at His “free grace and dying love”; shut in with Him, the light of earthly glory died, while our lips took up the song—

“Fade, fade each earthly joy—
Jesus is mine!”

We looked not with restless eyes at the clock on the wall, but, entranced we gazed by faith on the crucified yet risen One, and we wished for a thousand tongues to sing our great Redeemer’s praise. A day in His Courts was better than a thousand (Psa. 84:10); yea, a foretaste of Heaven below!

“I have gone astray like a lost sheep: seek Thy servant” (Psa. 119:176).