The joys of being a pastor are innumerable. The heartbreaks, too, it seems. It's always heartbreaking to get from my secretary the list of people who have missed 3 or more consecutive Divine Services. It's heartbreaking to read the names of people the Lord has entrusted to my care who are rejecting the Lord's gifts that He offers in the Divine Service.
We don't go to church to tell God how wonderful He is. "The worship and service of the Gospel is to receive gifts from God" (Apology of the Augsburg Confession, V, 189). God doesn't gather us together because He's so narcissistic that He needs to hear our praise so He won't be depressed the other 6 days of the week. No, He gathers His people because He loves to lavish His gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation on them.
Consider a husband who, night after night, chooses to go out to the bar with his buddies rather than home to the meal he knows his wife has prepared for him. Imagine her heartbreak. Consider a grown child who lives in sickness and poverty because he continually refuses the gifts of assistance his parents offer. Imagine their heartbreak. Consider the person who disdains the gifts offered by his Lord in the Divine Service week after week or who only goes to church when there's nothing else that commands his Sunday-morning attention. Imagine the heartbreak of the Lord who delights to give gifts.
"Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live." (Isaiah 55:1-3)