Isaiah 49:8 – This is what the Lord says: "In the time of my favour I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances." (NIV)
2 Corinthians 6:1-2 – As God's fellow-workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. For he says, "In the time of my favour I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favour, now is the day of salvation. (NIV)
On the first Sunday of each month we celebrate communion in our church. On a recent occasion, I sat looking over the small crowd gathered for worship and thought how our congregation avoided this service. I felt disheartened. I had prayed for our church many times, and I knew that others prayed also. Some Sundays the church was filled, but on this particular day, many pews were empty.
I picked up a pew Bible, allowing it to fall open. It opened to 2 Corinthians, the sixth chapter. These words seemed to jump out at me: "Now is the time of God's favour." The apostle Paul had faced days of trial, and yet says, "Now is the time of God's favour." The footnotes in the Bible led me to Isaiah 49:8. God told Isaiah, "In the time of my favour I will answer you."
It occurred to me that God was in control of the attendance at my church. Even though we prayed for change, God might have a purpose for things as they were. I had done my part. I was present and I had prayed about the situation.
We need to remember that though there may be times when God's favour is extended to His people in special ways, every day is a day of God's favour. Instead of despairing over the small crowd present, we can be thankful for those who are present and feel a need for the communion bread and wine.
Prayer: Lord, help us to remember that every day is a day of Your favour. The size of the crowd may not be as important as the commitment of the ones who are present. Amen.