I was a member of a volunteer fire department when I was a younger man and it was a great camaraderie we shared. We met every Monday evening for a meeting where we trained, maintained the equipment, and just had a good time together. Occasionally, we would have special events where we would meet on a Saturday to practice our skills such as rescuing from heights, connecting the pumpers to hydrants, and the proper operation of the jaws of life tool, which was designed to extricate people from wrecked vehicles. I always looked forward to Monday nights because I enjoyed the guys and the time spent together. Despite the fun we had, it was a serious business. The purpose was not the camaraderie, the training, or the proficiency using the equipment. The purpose was that of protecting life and property. I remember very vividly fires we fought and accidents where we employed the jaws of life.
When thinking about being a church member, I think it is much the same as my being a member of that fire department. There is a rich fellowship here. We spend time learning together and becoming proficient in the Word of God. But again, despite the joy we share together here, we are involved in a serious business. It is the business of saving souls. It is the business of battling the fires of Hell. It is the business of rescuing people from the wreckage of broken lives. Now despite the fact that fire fighting can be a dangerous business, no fire fighter would hesitate to involve themselves in the effort. How much more commitment to the task we should have when the fate of people’s souls hang in the balance! May our commitment to the task be as strong, or even stronger, than the bond of love we share at our meetings on Sunday!