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Written by R.W.Cothern   

The Banner of Love--February 15, 1952

Sleep would not come to the tired and worried little pastor. Tomorrow was meeting day and his task loomed dark and forbidding before him. He tried hard to think it all out, but wound up after a few hours in just a silent, tearless prayer: "Lord help me bear my cross like a man."

Next morning he waited at the place of meeting until the usual array of Church goers arrived. A bit late but anyway they were there. After the usual how do you do's the men sought their accustomed seats hung their hats on the same old nail and stuffing their hands down deep into their pockets they appeared all set for the occasion and to the seriously thinking little preacher they presented a sort of "Lets get it over with attitude."

The woman continued to discuss the many innocent and interesting things that filled their minds until a deacon said, "It is five minutes to eleven; if we are going to do any singing...."--and evidently they were not going to do much, or they would have started half an hour ago.

He pulled them through the first song, then an awkward pause and some one in a whispered tone finished telling what the song had cut short.

The pastor struggled with his message, half believing it was not appreciated, and the general atmosphere of indifference hung like a pall of gloom  over the preacher's heart. When the last Amen was said both preacher and hearers were relieved.

Next Sunday the pastor goes to another of his Churches (he has four and of course they could not have preaching but once a month and some people can backslide in less than a month) and as he drove the long distance he meditated constantly on the word of God, praying, praying, as always for the grace he must have and when he arrived the sound of sweet gospel singing greeted his ear! Coming in and up the aisle he was warmly greeted by many who had been praying for him, some even wept because this privilege seemed so dear to them, a place in the house of God. They had not come into church so unprepared as the other church folks of last Sunday. They had spent some time weighing their own responsibilities. They had come to Church in a warm faith, and had drawn near the Lord in the 40-minute song service.

The tired little pastor was not tired any more, but his spirit soared to new heights and the joy of the meeting knew no bounds!

Most preachers CERTAINLY try to do their best and their congregations want to try to carry their end of the load. It takes a little thinking, praying and humbling. The great apostle said something about "Let us therefore fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it."

R. W. Cothern

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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.