Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Worship Gatherings Are Not The Problem...

I'm currently reading The Divine Commodity by Skye Jethani. Last night as I read and prayed for insight, God used these words from The Divine Commodity to both challenge and convict me:

Worship gatherings are not the problem. The early Christians gathered regularly for worship, and the writer of Hebrews even commands his readers to not neglect meeting together as some were in the habit of doing (Hebrews 10:25). The problem is not our gatherings, but what we expect from them. If corporate worship is an external display of an internal reality--the glory of Christ that abides within--then these gatherings will not be full of passive spectators. These events will be where Christians gather to show a watching world the continual worship that marks their lives--whether it is celebratory, reflective, or even repentant.

However if people have no sustainable communion with Christ through his indwelling Spirit, they will come to worship seeking a temporary filling, a transient dose of glory to carry them along. And rather than reflecting the full spectrum of the human-divine relationship as revealed in Scripture, particularly the Psalms, these gatherings will fixate on only one element--the celebratory. Over time, as the familiar experience offers a diminishing return, religious consumers will either demand more energy through innovation, or the will shift to another church looking for a new experience.