I’ve invited several people to write “guest blog posts” for this blog. There are several reasons for this: 1) To offer different perspectives. 2) To generate even more discussion and conversation between blogs. 3) To introduce other bloggers to my readers.
(If you are interested in writing a guest blog post, please contact me at aknox[at]sebts[dot]com.)
Today’s post was written by John (as was yesterday’s post). You can connect with John on Facebook or email him at jnotestein [at] aol [dot] com.
Let’s go to the show!
I went out early this morning to grab a cup of my favorite latte, catch up on my newspaper reading and then hit the library to check out a few new books. Then I met my wife for lunch at the nearby café before hitting the gym for a good workout and a quick pilates class. Then I met my wife for a quick dinner and movie, followed by an awesome concert by a kickin’ band. And I did all of this in the confines of a local church.
Well, not really, but you get the idea. As a Christian these days, we can live the Amish life without the dark clothes and hats. We can easily live our lives outside of work wrapped in the comfortable cocoon of Christian community. So what of it, you say?
Christian community is very important to me. I see no other way to grow in my faith than to live my life in community with other believers. But what do we do with that faith?
But I’m getting ahead of myself. First of all, I first started attending church 9 months before I was born. I have always been in SBC affiliated churches, and went through every children, youth, and adult program that came down the pike (I still have Sunbeam songs in my head, so you can kinda tell my age group). I have sat through the spring/fall revival services and have lots of gold stars on old VBS certificates. I was even there in our old country church the day the organ arrived (what was wrong with the piano?) and a few folks thought this was the pathway to liberal mainline decline.
What a difference a few decades make. These days you might be hard pressed to find an organ (it’s over behind the drum kit). Now, if you think this post is about worship styles, you’re wrong. I have seen the extremes in styles, at least in the SBC world, and have never failed to worship our God and Savior because of the type of music. No, this post is about something that is a little more subtle: who are we really worshiping?
Well, God, of course, I can hear you say. But sometimes I feel as if I’m at an American Idol audition rather than a worship service. I don’t have to participate; I just have to listen as part of the audience. And for you younger guys, it’s not the music. I have attended my youngest daughter’s church many times and their music stands above just about anything I hear that is called contemporary worship music. The difference is: I’m singing along with them. I’m praising my Lord. I am actively worshiping. I’m not sitting in a Branson show.
Anyway, that’s not really what I wanted to talk about anyway (it’s my lead in). Where and how do we truly worship God? I contend that I worship more at times when I sit in the coffee shop with my Christian brothers and sisters, or hand out meals at the City Union Mission, or work with my non believing coworkers and neighbors. As Christians, we are all living our faith daily. As we engage with God’s world, we are testimonies to our faith. I am not saved to wait and sit in the bus station waiting for the 4:55 to Heaven. God is not part of my life for several hours on a Sunday morning. He owns me. I was bought at a price. Everything I do reflects His mercy to me. And not just towards me. Everyone and everything I come in contact with. I am a tool in the Master’s hands. If you think like that, you can’t help but worship. All of life is worshiping the Creator.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV)
The same things I tell my kids I need to repeatedly tell myself. It’s not about me. It’s about my God and Savior.