Why We Do What We Do - Pt. 2 (For The Glory of God)
From time to time I will have someone come up to me after a worship service and say, "I just look forward to church all week because when I come here, I get my batteries recharged."
Or they will use language like, "I love coming to church and getting my spiritual tank filled." And sometimes people will say something like, "Coming to church just gets me through the rest of my week."
While I completely understand what they mean (I've also have had some of the same kinds of feelings when I've attended church and came away feeling energized), I've started to question the perspective that fosters that kind of dynamic.
Lately, when I hear someone say something like "I get re-fueled on Sunday," the question that comes to my mind is simply this, "What is happening when the weight of our day-to-day lives makes us feel like we are merely enduring things until we get to Sunday?"
Is this what God wants for us? To just get through the week until we can get to church?
In his letter to the church at Corinth, the Apostle Paul addressed this very issue. He wrote: "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
These words embrace all life. Paul indicates that everything we do--even as something as mundane as eating and drinking--has the potential to be worshipful, to be imbued with holiness, to point to the Divine.
No act is in itself completely sacred or profane, entirely religious or secular. What Paul is saying here is that even the most common of things when done "to the glory of God" can be an act of worship.
Have you ever been out with friends to dinner, and the laughter is plentiful, the wine extraordinary, the conversation life-giving and the food---oh, the food is just out of this world?
In those moments it feels like time has taken on new meaning. You don't want the evening to end. You wish that you could just stay at the table, or around the fire afterward. It feels... holy, eternal, sacred.
Jesus taught his disciples that a day of worship and rest should be just that. When we impose a bunch of expectations on it, when we enter into it with a sense of obligation--that's when it becomes more about us and less about God.
Because what happens when you pin all of your hopes to get re-fueled from the trials and tribulations of your challenging week on a worship service, and it doesn't meet those expectations? What if you go to church expecting a recharge and the music falls flat, or the pastor has a bad day and the sermon isn't especially fulfilling?
It's important for us to realize that the Sabbath day is a gift to be embraced, not a good to be consumed. We need to also realize that what we should be learning from our gatherings of worship and learning is how to find life, energy, love, and above all to experience the Holy Spirit every other day of the week.
May you discover moments of worship, and life today and every day in the mundane and the ordinary. May you look forward to each day of the week as a potential day for being recharged and re-fueled by the power of God in Christ through the Holy Spirit.
And may you gather on Sunday full of joy at the opportunity to be with others who are walking with you as we all stumble after Jesus together. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.