Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Worship

What an interesting afternoon. First, when I got back from lunch I had an email from a visitor to Ridge Church on Sunday. She was upset with Jeff's sermon because it seemed to suggest that Hindu people might be in relationship with God. Just think of what she would have thought about my sermon 2 weeks ago (http://www.ridgeumc.org/files/August_28_2007.pdf). I emailed her back offering to meet with her and her husband to share what I believe about God, and Jesus. I am anxious to hear her response.

But that was not a real big deal --- UNTIL --- until Heather forwarded me an article from Leadership (http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2007/003/7.81.html). The article is titled THE REAL WORSHIP WAR, and from the title I almost didn't read it. I am glad I did because this is a powerful and provocative article.

While too often we are busy arguing about worship (style, music, coffee breaks, etc), we are forgetting the whole reason why we come together to worship. Mark Labberton writes: "It's worship as consumption rather than offering." He goes on:
our worship practices are separated from our call to justice and, worse, foster the self-indulgent tendencies of our culture rather than nurturing the self-sacrificing life of the kingdom of God.
Unfortunately he is right, of course. Once upon a time, I used to fuss and fume and lie awake at night, thinking that I wasn't believing the right things. Today, I wrestle with God, not over belief, but over practice --- mine and the church that I am called to lead.
Our community reputation, . . . should be that the church comprises those who pursue justice for the oppressed because that is what it means to be Christ's body in the world. We should not fool ourselves into thinking that it's enough to feel drawn to the heart of God without our lives showing the heart of God.
Thanks Mark! I only hope I can live that way!

1 comment:

Heidi said...

Why do so many seem to get caught up in the "way" of worship instead of the REASON we worship? Who are we to decide whose religion is the correct religion? How are "we" so sure that they don't have a relationship with GOD? And, if we are so sure of that, and our job would be to "convert" them, is the proper way to say their way is wrong?