PASTOR GLEN'S BLOG
July 11, 2018
Several years ago, a church was having air conditioning installed in the sanctuary and so the pastor was meeting with the contractor. The man asked the pastor a number of questions about the seating capacity, square footage, usual attendance, and the like, all the while taking notes. Then in the midst of his calculations, he suddenly crumpled up the paper he was figuring on and started over. The pastor asked, “What’s wrong?” The contractor said, “Oh, I was figuring for a theater instead of a church.” The pastor asked, “What’s the difference? Wouldn’t they be the same?”
“No, not really,” answered the contractor. “You see, in a theater, with all that is on the screen, there are certain biological changes that take place: heart rates are elevated, blood pressures increase and body temperatures can begin to climb. In other words, there is a greater need for cooling when people get excited. On the other hand, in the church . . .” Without even realizing it, this contractor portrayed a common view of worship found in the lives of many people . . . worship isn’t exciting!
We read in Isaiah 29:13, “And the LORD said: ‘Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me.’” Isaiah is stating how God is not pleased with the sorry state of religion, which only gives lip service and not heart service. The Israelites were only going through the motions. They were only repeating rote phrases and had lost a zeal for the Lord. This could be referred to as half-hearted worship.
When we are on vacation it is neat to worship in other contexts. It is interesting to observe the way in which different people worship. This past Sunday one of the worship team members was actually dancing in the Lord. This leader was definitely into worship!! Many people in worship services today go through the motions; however, there is a disconnect between their words and their hearts. Some people participate almost as if they were half asleep, rather than fully alive. They may be in a place designated for worship but their hearts are not present. Does that description ever fit any of us?
When we sit in a theater, waiting for a movie to begin, isn’t there a sense of anticipation? When we are waiting for a concert to begin, isn’t there excitement about the music we will hear? When we arrive at a baseball game, isn’t there anticipation of which team will win?
When we gather together for worship, we come to exalt our holy God . . . the Alpha and the Omega . . . the Creator of the Universe . . . the Sustainer of life . . . the one who holds eternity in His grasp. When we gather for corporate worship, may our attitude always be a sense of anticipation of God showing up . . . and then giving Him whole-hearted worship, for He is WORTHY!!