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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Does Worship Matter?

The Old Testament prophets were very focused on a couple of themes. One had to do with not worshipping other gods. The Jewish history as recorded in the Old Testament makes it clear that this was an ongoing problem. It is rather ironic that the sacred book of the Jews is so self critical. Unfaithfulness to the Lord is the norm for much of the narrative. God makes it abundantly clear that this pursuit of other gods is the reason for Israel's demise.

On hte other hand, it is also clear that worship without justice is unacceptable. The Lord rejects such worship in the strongest terms. At times the language is very strong. Going to the Temple without treating the needy with justice and mercy was a waste of time. God says He rejects those offerings.

So church attendance, without an accompanying commmitment to the service of the poor, would seem to  be offensive to the Lord. But there are times when people imply that church attendance is offensive and that is not the point of the prophets. I daresay the lack of justice is the issue. Sleeping in on Sundays is not the point of their message.

It might be helpful to reflect on what it is God asks of us and not simply look for excuses. As I said early Sunday morning, there is little reason to think God needs our worship. If you have followed what I have written about the last few weeks I hope I have made it clear that it is us who need to worship Him.

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