I think it is safe to say that nothing saddens pastors (at least this pastor) more than when members of the Body of Christ sever themselves from this Body by persistently refusing to come to the Sacrament. Nothing is more disheartening and discouraging than knowing that your members are sitting at home on Sunday mornings when the rest of Christ’s Body is at church, hearing God’s Word, singing hymns, and eating and drinking Christ’s body and blood. It is especially difficult when people are intentionally avoiding the church until the pastor leaves.
There are many things that could be said to these people. There’s the 3rd Commandment issue, despising the Word and all. There is the Parable of the Wedding Feast, and the invited guests who ignore the invitation. There are all the positive blessings and benefits such as union with Christ and the forgiveness of sins. All of these are good things to put before the eyes of those who refuse to come to church. Whatever will put the issue squarely in front of someone’s eyes, then we should by all means use it!
Here is something I thought of this morning in this regard. It is a simple analogy. A limb amputated from a person’s body will not survive (in fact, it is likely dead already). So also, a member of the Body of Christ cannot live apart from that Body. It cannot survive. If it is not dead already, it will die very quickly. I have a member who has had an amputation. Perhaps saying something like this will help her and her husband to see my point.