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Monday, September 28, 2009

True Worship - What's Right?

Sunday morning we had a family worship service in our hotel room in Oklahoma City. Why? Because three of our children were involved in a goat show that started at 9:00 a.m. that morning. I would rather there not be a goat show on Sunday, but twice a year there is - both of them in Oklahoma City. In March, I wrote about the spring livestock show and how we had worship in the goat stalls. You can read about that HERE.

I think worship times such as this, or the ones we sometimes have outside during church camp or at camp retreats (on the mountain!) are very special. Of course all worship is special because of WHO we are worshipping and WHY we are worshipping. But when worship is in a different-than-normal place, there is just something different about it. I think it's because, without intentionally meaning to do so, we sometimes make our worship in the "normal" church building a routine and a kind of "going-through-the-motions" type of thing. We get so used to the "order" in which things are done, we don't really think about "what" is being done, like we should.

Sunday morning my husband and three oldest children left the hotel before the youngest (Tyler) and I did. On the way to the fairgrounds Tyler and I were talking and he said, "Mom, I wish the goat show wasn't on Sunday." I said, "I do, too, Tyler. But it is neat to have our worship together like we did." Tyler said, "Well it wasn't right." I asked him what wasn't "right" about it. He said, "Well, we sang the songs after daddy preached and we had communion (the Lord's Supper)at the first." You see, at our church services there's always a certain pattern of songs, prayers, etc. and our worship this morning didn't fit that pattern, so Tyler thought it was wrong - because the order was different.

What a teachable moment! It's times like these that serve as an important time for us to teach Tyler and all of our children about true worship. True worship to God is not dependent on the order of how things are done, but rather it's what we do in our worship (sing, pray, give, hear the Word, communion (the Lord's Supper)) and how we worship (the Bible says to worship in spirit and in truth John 4:24) that are important.

Now, I wouldn't be for giving up meeting with my Christian family each Sunday (we meet together in the morning and evening and also on Wednesday nights). In fact, I believe the Bible teaches that to do so would be wrong. But, I do think it's important to realize that true worship - in spirit and in truth - is worship that is done with the intent to please God and not ourselves. It's not about what we think is right, but about what the Bible teaches is right. It's not about me and what I like, but about what is acceptable to God.

Thank you, God, for teachable moments where we can teach our children more about you. Please help us to worship you in spirit and in truth and not just go through the motions.
In Jesus' Name,

1 comment:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

I totally agree with you. I vividly remember my parents being upset with my grandmother over this. Her first question after going on vacations was always, "Where did you go to church?" and sometimes we stopped at a local congregation, and other times we had our own service together. She was very critical of them over this. I am glad I had open-minded parents who believed that a family of 4 could worship together as well as with a church of 40 or 400!

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