One Sunday morning a man entered a church service wearing a rather large hat. When it was near the time for the service to begin, a person sitting behind him leaned forward and encouraged him to remove the hat. But the man politely replied, “No thank you.”
Not knowing what to do, the member motioned for an usher and frantically pointed to the hat. The usher asked the man to remove his hat, yet the man ignored him. The usher quickly ran to the head usher and explained the problem, but still the man would not remove his hat. Even when the chairman of the deacons talked to him, he continued to wear his hat. Just then the organist began to play and the man calmly removed his hat and placed it on the pew beside him.
Perplexed by what the man did, the pastor approached him after the service and asked him why he had been so resistant to remove his hat. “I’ve been attending this church for six months and not one person has spoken to me. Today I have had a conversation with a member, an usher, the head usher, the chairman of the deacons and now you. This has been quite an eventful morning for me!”
“My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, ‘You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor’—well, doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?” (James 2:1-4 NLT)
Normally I try to shake hands with people before a church service begins. Once I had someone to tell me that as they were coming to church one particular Sunday morning, they had prayed, “Lord, just let me know that You are still there and that You care.” Not knowing their situation, I shook hands with them and believe it or not but they considered my handshake to be their sign of encouragement from God.
Perhaps the greatest thing we could do for God this Sunday is to take some time to go out of our way and make sure that someone else experiences His love.