Why go to church?
Why do we go?
To worship? Worship who? How?
We worship the one who created us and then bought us back when we sold ourselves into sin. We worship With our words, with our music, with our gifts and offerings.
It is so easy to get caught up in business of church that we miss the real reason that we came together.
Matthew 21 records Jesus’ encounter with the folks who had lost their way.
“12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’[e] but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’[f]”
14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.
16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.
“Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read,
“‘From the lips of children and infants
you, Lord, have called forth your praise’[g]?”
17 And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.”
I lose my way. I’ve been there recently, so concerned about the mechanics of how we worship that I have forgotten who I worship. The spiritual leaders of the day had gotten very focused on the mechanics of church, that every detail be exactly as prescribed, even the the money used in the offering had to be the temple money, so there was an exchange of currency from one to the other and if those offering those services made a little extra for their trouble…? No rules against that. No rules against providing animals for sacrifice to the weary travelers who had come from far and wide to worship and if we make a little profit…? No rules against that. So the heart of worship was lost in the details. Worship became a business. Worship is not a business, it is a loving response to a loving father God.
My own life doesn’t have a direct correlation to this, but I do tend to go through the motions at times. Reading the daily Bible readings and coming out the other side unchanged. Not digesting any of what God is speaking to me from his word. Sometimes attending church on Sunday because, well it’s what a good Christian does, leaving unchanged and unchallenged.
Forgive me Father God. Help me see you and worship you well. You alone are worthy of my praise and adoration. Help me open myself to you. Crack through the shiny hardened shell on my heart and bring me life, change me, enlarge my vision and compassion for a lost world filled with pain and brokenness. Help me be a healing force bringing help one hope and grace and mercy to everyone around me.