By David Halter
In our small, rural congregation we all take turns cleaning the church building. My turn came to clean the building and I began the task of vacuuming the auditorium. I had just begun to clean one pew and noticed an extremely large amount of dirt on the floor. It seems that some members had not cleaned their feet very well before coming into the auditorium. As I observed the dirt I began to become angry at whoever had done this! I thought that they were very thoughtless in failing to clean off their shoes.
I made up my mind right then and there to preach to the brethren about it. I was ready to let them have it! I couldn’t wait until Sunday so I could give both barrels to them! But just then, I thought, “What if there were no dirt to vacuum, no trash to pick up, no chalkboard to wipe?”
After some thought, I decided to go ahead and preach, but the lesson I now had decided to preach was quite different from the one I first thought of. As I continued cleaning the building several thoughts came to my mind and I wanted to share them with you.
Dirt on the Porch and in the Foyer
This is evidence that people are coming to church (Heb. 10:25). Some people don’t think to wipe their feet, they do not intentionally dirty up the porch and foyer. After all, they could have kept their dirt at home or they could have taken it to the beach, mall, movies or fishing. Thanks for bringing your dirty feet to church!
Dirt on the Seats and Floor
This is evidence that folks are sitting and listening to the teacher or preacher (Acts 20:7-9). It is also evidence they were studying the lesson during Bible class or at least were present (2 Tim. 2:15). After all, they could have stayed at home and watched TV, played a game of ball or visited friends! Thanks for bringing your dirt to church!
Dirt in the Classrooms
This is evidence that parents were bringing their children to church (Matt. 18:1-6). Jesus gave the answer that he did in response to the question by his disciples: “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” I think I know who, don’t you? After all, they could have let their children sleep late, or spend the night with friends! Thanks for bringing your children to church!
Dust on the Chalkboards
This is evidence that faithful brethren were fulfilling the God given role of teaching (2 Tim. 2:2). I thought, at least we had those who were willing, able and ready to do this great work (Heb. 5:12)! After all, they could have said to let someone else do it because they did not have the time or talent. Thanks for dusting up the chalkboards!
Boy! How I had changed my mind! I thought, what an honor and privilege to clean the building! How thankful I should be that brethren were so thoughtful of the Lord’s day worship services. After all, what would a church building be like without at least a little dirt?
Guardian of Truth XXXIII: 11, p. 340
June 1, 1989