Hi Church!
What is the best or funniest excuse that you have heard or have offered for missing work?  You have to admit, some of them are just too sad/funny…  I will never forget one that I heard from a coworker.   We were at work when his wife called saying that he needed to come home immediately.  It was obvious that she was extremely upset, and he needed to act.   He told us that he had a family emergency and that he would try to be back for work later that day.  Let me preface this by saying, this young man was an unbelievable story teller…
Sure enough, after a few hours he returned to work.  He told us that he had to go home, because he had no running water in his trailer, and his wife was very upset about it.  Rightfully so, they had two young children at the time.  He then proceeded to tell us that he had “figured out” what had happened.
He said there were “signs” under his house trailer of where two cats had gotten into a “cat fight” and in their struggle they had inadvertently turned the valve off that supplied the water to his house.   Wow! Really.  That was one crazy “cat story”.  Another coworker and I just looked at each other and shook our heads.  We knew.  Did this young man really think we would believe that excuse for having no water in his house.   The truth:  he had not paid his water bill.
Offering excuses and shifting blame goes back a very, very long way… all the way back to the beginning!   Adam excused his behavior and blamed Eve.  Eve blamed the serpent… and that is the origin of excuse-making and blame-shifting.
As we approach NO-EXCUSE Sunday, otherwise known as “BACK-TO-CHURCH-SUNDAY in the U.S.,  people are offering many excuses for skipping “church”.   Some are funny, like “the roof would cave in” and others are much more serious and legit.  The devil is constantly offering people “good” excuses, and I have to confess to the church’s shame, we have given the unchurched plenty of good reasons for not attending services.
THEIR TIME QUESTION:   Do I have the time to go to church?   (I am already so busy and tired, why should I go)
THEIR TRUST QUESTION:    Can I trust the church?  (Money and sex abuse scandals continue to plague the church)
THEIR TRUTH QUESTION:  Is what the church says true?   (Truth is relative today, and who is the church to tell me what to believe)
THEIR TODAY QUESTION:  Can the church help me in 2022 with my questions and struggles?   (Is the teaching practical and helpful)
THEIR TROUBLES QUESTION:  Will the church accept me?  (I made some bad choices and my life is far from perfect and I do not feel good enough)
Do you agree that those are good and legit questions?   It is likely that you have, or even still do ask those questions from time to time.  Those are the five questions that we will be addressing on Sunday.   I share them with you ahead of time, because I want you to know that IT IS GOING TO BE A VERY GOOD AND ‘SAFE’ DAY TO INVITE and bring someone to church.   My message is going to address their questions in a good, informative, truthful and respectful way.   And, in the end, I want them to know and believe:
1.  The Christ Centered Church is very much worth their time…
2.  The Christ Centered Church can earn their trust…
3. The  Christ Centered Church offers a strong foundation of truth for life…
4.  The Christ Centered Church is very much relevant for today’s headlines…
5.  The Christ Centered Church will accept them and help them with their struggles…
Please be praying, investing and inviting others to NO-EXCUSE SUNDAY.   And remember to bring some dishes to pass at our pot-luck dinner.   We have some awesome things planned for this day!    You Do not want to miss it!
In God’s Gracious Grip,
Pastor Michael