The Lifeline

“The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:11).
Recently some divers were searching for treasure in a Spanish galleon off the Florida coast. They had entered the hold of the ship when the roof collapsed. Two divers were injured, but more seriously, two of the three men’s oxygen tanks had been punctured. The three did what they had been told to do in training — they took turns drawing the life-giving air from the mouthpiece of the third diver. Because of the danger of bends, a condition caused by rising to the surface too quickly, they had to make their way slowly to the surface. For an hour they took turns drawing air into their lungs; their lifeline was a flimsy plastic pipe, it was all that stood between them and an agonizing death.
It is no overstatement to say that worship is the lifeline of the Christian. It’s the one thing that keeps us alive. In God’s presence we can suck into our spiritual lungs the sweet, life-giving oxygen we need to survive. Hearing other voices encourages us to sing. Gathering round the table in communion reminds us that we do not do so alone. Hearing the word preached gives us God’s words, which are life.
But I am not convinced we see it that way. Unlike the divers who clung to their lifeline in the green waters of the Atlantic, we take this time for granted and pass up on the chance to take oxygen into our lungs.
It would be crazy for a diver to refuse the offer of oxygen; why do Christians not understand the importance of being in worship?
Make no mistake, you will do nothing more important this week than be in worship! Worship is not an alternative to sleeping in or taking a drive in the country. It’s our lifeline!
The Lord God is here, and we draw life from his presence.
Are your lungs screaming for air? Are you drowning? Come to him, for your survival depends on it.

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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