Church Services. To serve God, or to serve people?

Devotional Thought of the day:

23  Jesus was walking through some wheat fields on a Sabbath. As his disciples walked along with him, they began to pick the heads of wheat. 24  So the Pharisees said to Jesus, “Look, it is against our Law for your disciples to do that on the Sabbath!” 25  Jesus answered, “Have you never read what David did that time when he needed something to eat? He and his men were hungry, 26  so he went into the house of God and ate the bread offered to God. This happened when Abiathar was the High Priest. According to our Law only the priests may eat this bread—but David ate it and even gave it to his men.” 27  And Jesus concluded, “The Sabbath was made for the good of human beings; they were not made for the Sabbath. 28  So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”  Mark 2:23-28 (TEV) 

Sunday, a friend of mine shared a article he read on FB.  It was on a topic near and dea to my heart – the topic of worship.  More specifically, the type of worship that happens when God gathers His people together and there is something called a mass, or a worship service, or church service.

Here is the article:

The thoughts in the article, though not my own, are so akin to it, that it might as well be.

You see, a mass, or church service isn’t about our impressing God.  It’s not something we do to gain points with God, and if we gain enough, then we get into heaven, or a better viewof God in heaven, or a nicer mansion.   It’s not about who sings the best, or how hip or how smooth the pastor or priest is, or how dynamic the “show” is.  I am not saying that any pastor, or any musicians shouldn’t do their best, we should, because it is often through us that people receive what God meant them to receive – the reveleation of His love and His mercy and His invitation to share in His glory.   Here is a passage that demonstrates that:

27  God’s plan is to make known his secret to his people, this rich and glorious secret which he has for all peoples. And the secret is that Christ is in you, which means that you will share in the glory of God. 28  So we preach Christ to everyone. With all possible wisdom we warn and teach them in order to bring each one into God’s presence as a mature individual in union with Christ. 29  To get this done I toil and struggle, using the mighty strength which Christ supplies and which is at work in me. Colossians 1:27-29 (TEV)

The point is this – that church is not about how well we do it.  It’s about our realizing the depth of God’s love, the lengths He will go to bring healing to our souls, to bring peace to our hearts. That can’t happen if we treat church, whether very anicent liturgy or very contempory service, (both can be high choreographed and rehearsed)  as if anything that distracts from what happens up fron is more important than any person there.

God wants to gather all people to Himself, to bring them inot our family, to make them a part of us.  All people. And so each one has a role in church, and in every event the church has, from Bible Studies to Potlucks.

The first and primary role, whether pastor or infant, the couple celebrating their 70th anniversary or the single mom, the people whose parents or grandparents were there when the church was built, and the family hasn’t missed a sunday since, or the person who immigrated to the US yesterday.. and wandered in accidently.  Every one of them belongs in God’s house.  Every one of them God wants to reveal His love to, whether for the first time, or the 10,000th. These times are about God taking care of His people, all of them, all He created.

That means it will be messy, because people are messy.  Sometimes visibly so, more often emotionally and spiritually so.  And all need the healing of their hearts and souls….which are butalized by sin and the world’s pressures.

That’s why He gathers us… and that’s why we praise Him.

Because of His great love for us.

May we remember that as we worship together, as we study together, and as we find those around us that need His love, and share it with them in their homes, or bring them home to church!


About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on October 30, 2013, in Devotions, Theology in Practice and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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