Monday, 1 February 2010

Church & Snow

Wrexham had a few inches of snow again over the weekend. With a number of churches cancelling their Lord's Day services, and the low attendance noticeable, does John G. Paton's dad have something to teach us?

"Our place of worship was the Reformed Presbyterian Church at Dumfries... Dumfires was four miles from our home; but the tradition is that during all these forty years my father was only thrice prevented from attending the worship of God - once by snow, so deep that he was baffled and had to return; once by ice on the road, so dangerous that he was forced to crawl back up the Roucan Brae on his hands and knees, after having descended it so far with many falls; and once by the terrible outbreak of cholera at Dumfries."

John G. Paton lived in the 19th Century. He was a missionary to the New Hebrides (modern day Vanuatu). He suffered much hardship and trials, but saw much fruit from his labours amongst the cannibals. He regularly acknowledges the impact of his father upon his life in his autobiography, from which the above quotation is taken. Notice the quote goes on:

"All intercourse betwixt the town the surrounding villages, during that awful visitation, was publicly prohibited; and the farmers and villagers, suspecting that no cholera would make my father stay at home on Sabbath, sent a deputation to my mother on Saturday evening, and urged her to restrain his devotions for once!"

Rain, sun or snow, make sure you worship the Lord with the people of the Lord on the Lord's Day.