|I once applied for a job that required me to work on Sundays. Asking about the possibility of having Sundays off annoyed the boss. I could tell he had heard the question before from other people.
He had a better idea. When I got the schedule each week, I should look at my off days and find a church I could go to then. I can’t help but think a lot of us view worship and church like he did.
Did you notice how easy it was for him to suggest going to another church? If the church you’re at doesn’t have what you want, go somewhere else. I’ve done that before. Well, not with a church, but a restaurant. And when we base our view of church by what it can do for me, we become customers. Church is a product. Worship is a product.
We might be better customers than disciples.
As we learn the difference, our worship takes on meaning. It’s important that we’re with the church God called us to. Not just the one that sings the songs I like. Or the one where the preacher tells funny stories. Or the one where I can sneak out without anybody even noticing. It’s okay that you “get” something out of worship. God is the giver of perfect gifts. God’s blessed me with moments of healing and assurance in a church gathering. But there’s more that is important to worship than that.
The meaning of worship begins and ends with God. What is God wanting to speak to our heart? How is God moving among us? What does Spirit want to inspire us to next? Annoyed bosses may want you to figure that out on your own. But those are thoughts we seek to answer together.
And our willingness to prioritize our worship sends a message to the world. Not that everyone will appreciate it. When the Israelites wanted to sacrifice to the Lord, Pharaoh thought them to be lazy. That they wanted to get out of work. As harsh as Pharaoh was, though, their desire remained. They didn’t have a choice about their work, of course. Their desire to worship only increased the work Pharaoh gave them. But even if he accused them of being lazy, he knew their constant excuse for it.
When Moses first went to the people, they believed him. Then they bowed in worship (Exodus 4:31). Now, they longed for the freedom to continue to worship together. The struggle to worship brought its own burden. The people questioned if it was worth it.
You and I have that freedom now to worship together. Something we should reflect on, then, is, What are we doing with it?
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