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For years, every Sunday, my wife and I sat in the same spots…
on the same pew at church. Since she died, I sit where she sat. It’s comforting. Over my lifetime, I have noticed that people tend to sit in or near the same location every Sunday. I’ve even heard some of the older diehards ask others to move so they could have their regular seat.
In the small church where I grew up, the phenomenon became amplified when new pews were ordered. Families got together and purchased a pew in memory of their patriarch or some other member of the family they wished to honor. Then, every Sunday, they sat on “their” pew. My father left a pillow on his pew. No one dared move it.
A few years later,
the church leaders agreed to spend the necessary funds to install central heat and cooling. The vents over several areas became the targets of criticism. “That cold air hits me right on the head every Sunday.” Eventually, the vents were closed because the faithful refused to move–or don some appropriate headwear.
Informally assigned seating helps the ushers when they do their headcount and the pastor when he’s surveying the congregation to see who attended today. If the Smith family pew is empty, then he/she knows they’re absent trying to keep up with the Joneses.
In our church, and most of the ones I have visited, the regulars never sit on the front row. It’s almost always empty. I often visit churches to give Gideon presentations. If I go for the front row, I seldom encroach on another’s space.
After the seven minute sermon,
the second collection, the last hymn, and the benediction, everyone files out, shakes hands with the pastor, mumbles a quick compliment, and dashes out to the car in a mass effort to beat the Baptists to the restaurant for lunch. As the week progresses, I suppose in the end, it’s more important to consider this question, “Where do you stand?” Are you living the creed you agreed to when you joined the church? Do you need an outward sign to tell people you’re a Christian, or can they tell by your actions? If not, it really doesn’t matter where you sit on Sunday morning.
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