Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Is it possible....

...for the Christian community to gather for worship and fail to have God as the subject and object of our praise?

Naturally, when Christians come together, they meet not God but each other. They were raised in twelve years or so of the school-type atmosphere, so they’re used to assembling in a school-type manner: somewhat disciplined, somewhat orderly—but horizontal and casual.

Maybe because of this, many Christians never worship . They spend their lives in horizontal activities: Sunday school classes, women’s meetings, home Bible studies, even church services.
They extend the familiar atmosphere of the schoolroom to all their Christian activities for the rest of their lives. They learn to know about God. But they never learn to know God. Direct contact with Him may never have been provided for or encouraged by their churches.

What if your birthday were coming up and your friends announced they were giving you a party. You eagerly anticipated it—but finally when party time actually came, they never noticed you. You were off in a corner, and they talked about you as if you weren’t even there! Eventually you’d get the picture—that they were just using the occasion of your birthday as an excuse to get together and enjoy one another.

Do you suppose that’s the way God feels every week? Many Christians seem to use church services to talk some about Him, but mostly as an excuse to enjoy one another.
--- Anne Ortlund

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37-39).

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things [what we shall eat, drink, or wear] will be given to you as well (Matt. 6:33).

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