Isaiah 29: 13 The Lord said: Because these people draw near with their mouths and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me,and their worship of me is a human commandment learned by rote; 14 so I will again do amazing things with this people, shocking and amazing. The wisdom of their wise shall perish, and the discernment of the discerning shall be hidden.
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
For the longest time the purpose of the Christian life was defined as being part of the Christian Church. Each and every Sunday we talked about going to church, even often using the terminology of "My" church. Church was the building where we gathered. You were to serve in the church as an acolyte, usher, choir member, deacon, council member or if you are really unique you would be called to serve as a pastor.
Essentially, Church was limited in its reference simply to what we did on Sunday morning, "We had good church today" or "Church was dead this morning," are statements I have both heard and spoken. The danger of our language about Church is that Church is not what we do on a Sunday; Church is who we are each and every day. Sunday morning is a moment to worship, all seven days of the week are opportunities to be the Church in the world.
It's an important distinction because in our walk of discipleship, weekly worship is one of the characteristics but it is not THE characteristic. Jesus called us to follow him by loving God, our neighbor and ourselves. The goal of following Jesus is to love; one of the ways we continue on the path to this goal is worship the Lord our God.
As followers of Jesus, we are indeed healed, forgiven, empowered and encouraged by the presence of God in worship. The Sacred Spirit of Jesus shows up when two or more gather in his name. However the action of God is not just for us to embrace, but we are called to bring healing, forgiveness, empowerment and encouragement to the world entire.
The act of worship sharpens the lens of faith to see God present in our lives already. The result of worship for us is a renewed and refreshed heart to go and serve. If all we do is worship with a service of thanks and praise but do not love our neighbor, work for justice, offer forgiveness, stand against racism, live inclusive, serve the poor, live peaceful then guess what? We are just full of hot air. And if all we do is seek to love our neighbor, work for justice, offer forgiveness, stand against racism, live inclusive, serve the poor, live peaceful but do not set aside time to worship the Lord our God, our sails quickly run out of air. Breathe on us Sacred Spirit!
Worship the Lord our God by opening your heart to God. Open your life to God so God can do a new thing in you and you can do a new thing in the world all around. Worship God to you can be filled with God's love; Be love so the world can be filled with God.
Love, Pastor G