• Chris Steele

Empty Seats

Be Strong, Be Well — Sunday, February 7, 2021

Empty seats are nothing new. We have always had empty seats for our Bible classes and worship services. Rarely, if ever, have we had a full house.

Empty seats today take on a whole new meaning and the feelings that go with it. When the blue tape blocks off every other row in the auditorium, and we sit with our family units far apart from each other, and socializing is limited, there’s a sense of sadness.

Add to this, many of our members are still isolating at home out of fear, apprehension, and the uncertainties of the virus. Their seats have been empty for nearly a year now! We call and encourage them, but not seeing their faces in person just adds to our grief.

Every seat is empty in the fellowship room every month on our fellowship dinner Sundays. There are empty seats in our houses, as we have limited socializing among our members, and sharing meals, talking and laughing around our tables—we hate empty seats!

God may be teaching us a lesson on the joy of Christian fellowship. Maybe we grew too comfortable with those empty seats around us? We now yearn for those more intimate brother and sister relationships and time spent together.

We know God hears our prayers. May He answer those prayers and bring us back together in full fellowship with one another soon. May He relieve us of our fears and apprehensions, so we can see and hug one another again. May He fill our seats, so when we look around in our Bible studies and worship hours, we are filled with joy and gladness.

“I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the LORD.” “We took sweet counsel together, And walked to the house of God in the throng.” (Psalm 122:1; 55:14). —Chris

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River Road Church of Christ, 6767 River Road, New Port Richey, FL 34652

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