Sunday, August 29, 2010

Why We go to Church

I have been experiencing a little bit of writer's block the past few days.  What that means is I really need to get my camera out and take some good pictures!!  :)  But the topic of why we go to church on Sunday mornings is something that I have been thinking of writing about for a while now.  It turns out that last night Pastor Matthew did it for me--bonus!  :)  You can read the full post here.  Here are some highlights:

As it is Saturday night, and I am a preacher and under-shepherd of Christ, Sunday morning is on my mind. While it was under my consideration, I happened to be reading Modern Reformation magazine in my favorite living room chair, and turned to an article entitled “Worship Wars: Toward A Biblical Resolution.”  In it, Dr. Donald P. Richmond unpacks eight priorities in worship.

It was the third one that struck like a thunderbolt:
The priority of the priority must also be considered.
Why do we come to church? Why are we gathered? An examination of many contemporary churches today suggest that our priority in worship is to feel good. More often than we would like to admit, we go to church in order to get our “boost” for the week. 
A similar focus can be seen at the traditional Wednesday night prayer meeting. We want to be recharged so we can more effectively face the week ahead of us. Unfortunately, feeling good and being recharged are at best secondary considerations.
We gather together in order to worship God.
We do not come to a service of worship merely for fellowship. We do not come to the worship service to evangelize. We do not come to feel good. We come to worship. Period.
….The priority is the priority of God himself.
Beloved, don’t argue with his list of “nots” there. Of course those things can, and often do, happen on a Sunday morning gathering. Don’t let it get in the way of Dr. Richmond’s absolutely wonderful and stunning and joy-creating reminder:
The reason we gather together as God’s blood-bought children is to worship God! To praise him! To express our delight and trust in him! To cast our every care upon and be reminded of him!

O, may we come with hearts prepared in the morning reminded of our singular focus: to worship the Almighty!
150:1 Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens!
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!
Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!
I can't wait for church today!  Today's sermon is going to be "The Law of the Harvest" from Galatians 6:6-10.  You can watch past sermons here on vimeo

On a different note, today marks exactly one month since Patrick went home to Germany.  I must be completely honest--I miss him greatly and I still get teary-eyed when I think about him.  But we email often enough, and he is doing fantastic at home.  He is hanging out with friends, trying out something new called slacklining, and is back to school already.  He writes that his class schedule is pretty great--Mondays are short for him and his first class doesn't start until 11:30 a.m.  There's nothing to complain about getting a late start on Monday!!  :)

1 comment:

  1. So well said, Steph! So many people today go to church and pick a church based on what it does for them: the youth program, how the worship makes them feel, whether they have friends there, etc. My prayer each Sunday morning before we go to church is that we will worship the Lord in spirit and truth. We want to be sure to worship God as He has revealed Himself, for who He really is, and worship Him from the heart and with all of us, not just our words.

    Great post. I'm glad someone out there is going to church for the right reasons!! Oh, and my husband loves Modern Reformation magazine.