By Larry Ray Hafle
We have all been “a few minutes late” for appointments. It generally is “no big deal.” However, because those who arrive late may disturb others, some schools, companies, corporations, and movie theaters let it be known that they will not tolerate tardiness.
Personally, I would rather be tardy to worship services than not be present at all — “better late than never,” I suppose!
Does our tardiness show a lack of interest, a lack of concern? Probably not. But, on the other hand, does chronic tardiness display an eager, fervent spirit? “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.” Reckon David was late for services the day he wrote those words (Ps. 122:1)?
When we arrive late, we have missed something. Some part of the worship — an uplifting song, an introduction to the lesson, an opening prayer — all these we have missed. And, to some degree at least, we distract the attention of others when we rush in at the last moment.
Greeting one another, looking for visitors to meet, encouraging others with a pleasant, “How’re ya’ doin’, good to see ya,” — these and many other things go undone when we are late for services. Perhaps, for the sake of the weak and visitors who are looking for a friendly welcome, we should try to be a few minutes early. Your good influence, kind attitude, and friendly spirit are too much for us to miss! Don’t be late! We need you!
Arrive early! Stay late! I can’t get you here on time, but with the length of my sermons, I can see to it that you stay late!!