Yesterday I ran paulfg’s comment in this space in which he offered the idea that we could possibly make lists of the things we don’t like as a starting point to figure out what worship should look like in our colony. In some comments, people have offered dislikes, while in a couple of others people have been a bit hesitant to buy into the idea, and I offered in a reply to one of them that if we make a list of our deal-breakers, then we are not very likely to make a deal.
I really enjoy comments that get us thinking, don’t you? After all, that is the point of the exercise so, a big thanks to Paul!
All of this reminds me of a couple that my wife and I know very well. They are a delight for the most part and we love them to death, but there is one little thing…
You see, they are very committed Christians, why they can hold forth on all kinds of topics and tell anybody what a Christian (a “real” one, that is) would or would not do in any situation. Actually, that can go on and on…
Yet they never attend church, outside of a wedding or funeral. The reason for their non-involvement is that they cannot find a congregation that is acceptable to them− there’s always something they do or don’t do, or that someone said one time or… something, that keeps our couple away.
They have very exacting standards.
There’s a small church a short distance from their home and once I asked if they’d ever attended there. “Oh no, they are really weird.”
“How do you know that if you’ve never attended?”
“Oh, you can just tell.”
Once we drove past a church building not too far from their home and one of them mentioned that they had friends who attend there and I asked if they’d ever visited that church. “Oh no, we don’t like their kind of music.”
You see where this leads, right? Our friends don’t have exacting standards at all, they just have excuses to cover the main fact: They just don’t want to go, which is their choice to make.
So often discussions of worship are filled with personal preferences, likes and dislikes− how can we do that? To worship God in community with others is supposed to be all about love: Love for God, love for one another. Love that is godly love counts others as more important than ourselves, so how can we seek to impose our personal preferences on other people and call it love, not to mention worship? The short answer, obviously, is that we can’t.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Well, that’s my turn, and looking around the table, oh, you’re up!