Naturally, we beg a lot to God during our worship service. It’s like a child offering you a piece of candy and would rather cry if you don’t accept or receive it. “Please Daddy…Please Mommy, take it!!!”
We go on and do those things with the belief that unless we do them God is going to punish us. We go on and do those things with the belief that unless we do them God will bring sickness, loss of our job, death to us or to our family members or friends.
We say, “please accept this as our form of worship.”
And we think, “because if you don’t, we’re all doomed.”
So we sing, sing, sing…and then we pray, pray, pray and then we preach, preach, preach…with the belief that unless we do these things, we’re all doomed.
I once attended a worship service where the “worship leader” started ripping people apart for not singing along, with words, “why aren’t you singing? Are you that ungrateful for all that had done for you?”. It’s almost like the next words would be, “You know what’s gonna happen to us if you don’t sing?” It was 9:30p. I am usually in bed or heading for bed around such a time. Most of the gathering were seniors who were still trying to stay awake fighting their body clock.
Anxiety. Why are we so anxious to sing, to pray, to preach, if it’s not out of the joy, and out of the love, and out of the conviction that comes the Spirit of grace, the Spirit of freedom, the Holy Spirit whom God poured upon us generously through Christ? What’s the rush? Why the disappointment? Why the fear?
The good thing is that I have kids and as I can be patient with my natural kids, evermore by grace I can be patient without the children of God who have yet to understand and embrace and rejoice in their identity as children of God.
We sing words we don’t understand like when I sing lullabies with the kids. We pray for what we already have don’t believe that we do. We preach messages that pretty much say that we haven’t heard the gospel or don’t really believe what the gospel says. And then we close with saying that it was great to be there. Sure, naturally it was great to be there since we get to see each other face to face. But spiritually, after singing in a language that I may not speak, reading words that I may not understand, praying as if God may have forgotten what my last prayed sounded like, preaching anything but the gospel, there’s really nothing great about being there.
My kids who are of certain ages can naturally say today, “when I grow up, I want…” As the church, could we ever be too young to grow up spiritually?
Father God, I know you love your children. That’s enough for us. I count on you to help us grow by your grace so that leave the childish things aside and embrace the things of adulthood that your Spirit serve us every single day to clearly understand you as you’ve shown yourself in Christ Jesus. We thank you for you, in Jesus’ name, Amen.