Disclaimer: If you’re looking for something warm and fuzzy and feel-good, this is not it. You can skip to the next blog, which will be about fuzzy bunnies and cute kittens.
I was wondering if Jesus wrote a letter to one of his churches, particularly the post-modern trendy churches popping up all over the place, I’d bet it would go something like this:
“I came to one of your services and sat in the back row. I felt unwelcome and unwanted. Nobody turned around and greeted me. Nobody even so much as acknowledged my presence there.
They sang songs about me with great enthusiasm, about how great I am to save and how mighty God is. The preacher spoke at great length about how important it is to know me. But I walked in and out of the building and no one even saw me.
You have an amazing facility with some of the latest technology. You have some of the best singers and musicians leading the worship and one of the best speakers to motivate my people. But if there’s no real love behind it, it’s all just noise. And I didn’t see much love.
I came as one of the least of these. The outcast, the loser, the nobody. The ones you say you love, but your actions prove otherwise.
Get back to loving the unlovely. Don’t just associate with the popular and the trendy and those who have it all together. Take time for the ones who are sitting by themselves, who are socially awkward, who can’t do anything for you and probably can’t even say “Thank you.”
When you serve one of the least of these, you serve me. When you ignore them you ignore me.
Remember that I loved you when you were one of these. I loved you when you hated me, when your life was a wreck and you were hopelessly lost. Remember how that love felt and how it made you come alive. Then go and share it with someone who needs it most.
“Worship is extravagant love and extreme submission.”
I love that definition.
Too often, worship is all about singing songs. It’s all too easy to sit back and critique the song choices and musical styles and whether or not those around me are worshiping the “right” way.
In Nashville, it’s easy to let worship become all about the level of musicianship and charasmatic personality. It’s easy to manipulate a crowd into a frenzy if you’re talented enough, but that’s not worship.
Worship is extravagant love. I can’t help but thinking about the woman who poured the expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet and then wiped those feet with her hair. That was more than inconvenient. That was extremely costly and humiliating. That’s worship.
It’s also extreme submission. It’s surrendering my own illusion of self-control and admitting that I have a desperate need for God. And it starts long before you enter the sanctuary and the church service and doesn’t end when you pass the exit doors on your way out into the parking lot.
Worship is not an event, but a lifestyle of saying, “Not my will, but Thine.”
I don’t normally do this, but I posted a link to a fantastic blog about the nature of worship that I ran across today.
I challenge to you read it and let it soak into your very being.
If I’m truly worshipping in Romans 12:1-2 fashion and being transformed by the renewing of my mind and offering my body as a living sacrifice, then it won’t matter whether I’m singing the most current and trendy modern worship songs or the old, old hymns.
It won’t matter if there’s a rockin’ worship band, or a guy with a guitar, or an orchestra and choir, or just a piano and organ.
It will be worship. It will declare the great worth of God to the world.
After all, like the song says, it’s not about me. It’s all about You, Jesus.