‘Holy-Day’ love!

| April 9, 2015
Lakeya Stewart

The Rev. Lakeya Stewart

By the Rev. Lakeya Stewart

Last week, one of my best friends posted something quite interesting on Facebook. She sent out a reminder that Resurrection Sunday was approaching and that those “CME Saints” would be coming. At first I didn’t recognize the acronym, but a quick inquiry from a few friends taught me what was meant by the phrase. According to some friends, who will remain nameless, a “CME Saint” is a person who only comes to church for Christmas, Mother’s Day, and for Easter. In another denomination that I affiliate myself with, a “CME Saint” would be equivalent to a “Feast Day Saint” who only attended worship services on “High” or “Holy” Days.
Now, before you stop reading, please hear me out. This article is not meant to and will not bash anyone. In fact, this article celebrates the return of our beloved friends and family members. It should be a celebration!
I often chuckle to myself when I see people get upset when a visitor or someone else is sitting in your seat at church. Other than the churches where members donate money for a pew, I don’t believe there are assigned seats! I wonder if we as believers have considered that our interactions with these people on special days may be the only reflection of Christ that they see.
Over the years  I have asked people why they had chosen to not attend church services. Many people talk about past church hurt and experiences when they have felt judged by others in the church. It always breaks my heart to hear of such experiences.
As I reflect on the re-occurrence of this type of experience, I think about lost and/or failed opportunities to minister and lead people to Christ. Yes, the pastor of the church or the minister who will preach for these occasions will have a message prepared for the service, but what is the responsibility of those of us who will sit in the pew with these folks?
The responsibility of those who will have more interaction with the people who generally only attend church services on special occasions is to love. 1 Peter 4:8 says, “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” Not attending church isn’t considered a sin, but holding bitterness, anger and wrath in our hearts is. Those people choosing to stay away from the church on a regular basis because of holding onto bitterness and anger have fallen into sin. These people have not embraced the full concept of forgiveness, but the reality is that many of the people that do attend church regularly are guilty of not giving and receiving forgiveness as we ought.
We are all sinners that have been saved by the grace of God. We may sin differently, but we all sin. None of us are perfect and that is for certain.
As we leave from the Passover/Easter season, let us remember that Mother’s Day is coming up and our duty as believers is to love others as Christ has loved us. I challenge all of us to make a concerted effort to not be so judgmental toward others, but particularly to show forth the love of God to those who may only attend worship services on special occasions. This is a ministry opportunity that each believer can take on. On this week, I ask that you consider this question: When special occasions come around, am I open and welcoming to the new faces that I see, or am I the reason people choose not to return? God bless.
—Rev. Stewart
For questions or further correspondence concerning future topics or speaking engagements, please email at RevStewartSpeaks@outlook.com.
The Rev. Dr. Lakeya Stewart, M.Div. D.Min., ABD attended Berea College and the Lexington Theological Seminary in Kentucky and earned a double major B.A. degree in Sociology and in African & African American Studies as well as the Master of Divinity Degree. The Rev. Stewart currently serves as the director of spirituality/chaplain for Signature Healthcare in Bluffton, Ind. The Rev. Stewart is currently writing a dissertation on pastoral leadership through Regent University.

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Category: Spiritual Matters

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Frost Illustrated is Fort Wayne's oldest weekly newspaper. Your Independent Voice in the Community, featuring news & views of African Americans since 1968.

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