Skip to main content

What's missing from your worship?

What is it that we expect? When we walk through the doors at church, what is it that we want to see? We want to see, Jesus, but is that really who we see? When we walk through the doors at church what is it we want to feel? Jesus. We want to feel Him with His arms wrapped tightly around us. We expect God to move, but to feel Him move we too must be ready to move. We have to stop talking to the one sitting next to us long enough to hear the words spoken by the pastor. Words brought to us in worship. Are we really there to worship or is it just another Sunday and that is what we do?

What is your Sunday like? Walking a little heavy? Things weighing you down? When we walk through the church doors lets bring all our baggage and leave it at the altar instead of carrying it with us. Jesus doesn't just want a part of us. He wants all of us! Isn't it time to trust Him?

We enter looking around to see all who is there. Do we wonder who is missing? Do we wonder why or do we wonder who is looking at us? We take our seat only to pass by others not paying much attention to the sadness written all over their faces. We see things that need to be done, but do we offer to serve? We wait. Expecting another to do the job.

"Something is missing", we say. Jesus knows what that something is. We look around trying to locate just what is missing, but I can tell you. It's us. You and I are missing from church. Oh, Jesus is there. He is wanting to be seen and heard. He is wanting to be felt and He so wants everyone to come to Him. But we don't. We don't move. We are the problem. Not, Joe, sitting three rows back with a drink waiting for him at home. Not Miss King sitting next to you with her crazy kids that never mind. It isn't the singer standing before you who is off beat just a little. Not the usher walking by who will offer you a plate soon. It isn't anyone, but the one sitting there looking for the problem. Ever wonder why we just simply can't put our finger on the problem? No one wants to see that it could really be themselves.

We walk in church as though, "Well, I am here. Everyone, I am here, do you see me?" We gossip about one another. Oh, it isn't really gossip if we are only sharing prayer requests, right? We turn our head when someone is in need. We know the needs all around us, but do we make calls? Do we send cards? Do we offer our hearts to another? Sadly, as we enter the doors we are still making it all about us. When does, Jesus get His turn? When will it be all about Him? When will we really get it?

Oh sure, as Christians we talk a good talk. We like to think we don't do the things the world takes part in, but we do. We do the very same things those we are judging are doing. It might not be the very same, but we too have our own set of problems we refuse to see. Until we refuse to see ourselves we will never fully see Jesus Christ for all He really is.

Where is the encouragement in our churches? Where is the circle of prayer? Who is leading the youth and who is standing behind the pulpit? We blame those standing before us for every single problem. Those pews inside the church are filled with sinners. There are no light sinners and heavy sinners. We are ALL sinners. We don't like to think of ourselves as sinners do we? Oh, we don't like that word, but friends, that is exactly what we are.

We place ourselves in circles of people. We like to say, "Well, she didn't even talk to me." "She walked right by me. Did you see that look she gave me? Oh, I know she doesn't like me?" Once again, who is it all about? We forget when we walk through the church doors we all are there to worship. We are there to worship the Savior who died for each and every one of us. The sinners  who He chose to shed His blood for. We are not there to determine who is best dressed or who isn't there because of their late Saturday night. We are not there to judge one another, casting glances at those we seen over the weekend. We are there to worship. What do we expect? Really? Until we are ready to give we will never be able to receive all Jesus has for us.

I think I expect to find love there. In this room where people gather I expect to see nothing more or less than Jesus. I want to see real. I want to see Jesus face to face as we sing and worship. We don't go to church to be served, but to serve. Somewhere I think we lose that point. We go thinking once again, it's all about ME.

A great day at church is meeting Jesus face to face and getting a little closer to Him. A great day at church is getting to close your eyes to all around you and take in all Jesus has for you. It's leaving all you have at the altar and trusting God to carry you throughout the week with a strength that only He has. It's watching as others come to know Him. Join Him for the very first time, lean on Him like never before, and come back to Him for the love they once knew greatly. A sweet service is seeing a tear of joy. A kiss of laughter and an open bible awaiting a new scribble.

It doesn't quite matter if your church carries a few thousand, a few hundred or just a few. What matters are the hearts that are open to all He has for you to hear. Church is not a building. It is a group of gathered people joined to celebrate all Jesus has for us. We allow this day just to become another day. We go. We listen. We return home. What would happen if we really gave all we had? What would happen if we really checked our baggage at the door, realized it isn't all about us, and totally let our hearts bleed? I mean let it all out, not caring who sees your tears, or how long you stay at the altar. Raising our hands in praise and laying our hand upon another in prayer. What if we stopped the fake smiles and stopped pretending we like everyone in the room and totally focused on the One who came?

What if we stopped talking long enough to really listen? What if for once we just stopped bragging on our family and shared the truth? What if we were honest and shared, "Things are not as they seem?" You know what? More people would come. More people would serve. More people would go to the altar. More people would reach out. Why? Because then my friends it would be real!

We all struggle. We all have fears. Why do we try to hide them? It is when we cover up everything and hide in pride that Jesus can't be seen or heard. We want our children to lead? Well, we must lead first. We must take that first step in not gossiping and judging those very people we gather with. We must not make a difference in those we help and in those we pray for. Why can't we simply reach out to everyone? It doesn't matter if you sit in the first row or come in last as service is just beginning. Each and every person is there because at that moment that is just where Jesus has called us to be. He has given each and every one of us a purpose and plan. Why are we not reaching out and encouraging those around us? Why? Because we are feeling it ourselves. Soon, we feel forgotten and lost and we stop looking for Jesus. We go home never to return. Sound familiar to you?

We go to church and we carry within us such hurts and bitterness. Until we are able to let all that go and realize our churches are not perfect we will never find what we are looking for. Only Jesus can heal our brokenness. Only Jesus can fill us from our emptiness. Only Jesus will forever be with us, never letting us down and bringing disappointment. People make mistakes. People are searching. Each person walking through your church doors is searching for something. Until they see a congregation that is real they will never come to know a Jesus that is real.

Friends, it's time to take off our pride. It's time to let down the veil we have been hiding under. It's time to stop talking and listen for once. If we really let go, really let go, we will see Jesus move in a way like never before. Isn't it time? Change? It must begin within our own heart. All we have to do is show up and let Jesus do the rest.

"And now abide faith, hope, love these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13

"He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8

Comments

Andrea said…
Blessings and prayers,
andrea

Popular posts from this blog

The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron

I want to begin this review sharing two reviews I was blessed to do. The Butterfly and The Violinand A Sparrow in Terezin. For me these two novels were masterpieces. Works of such exquisite beauty. They showed that Kristy Cambron is gifted with the pen, a master storyteller. They remain two of my all-time top favorites. 
It was for this reason I was thrilled to be receiving a copy of The Illusionist's Apprentice. Once again Cambron shows us a masterpiece of bringing a story to readers that speaks of faith and our Lord. Although throughout the novel these aspects are not boldly proclaimed, but are masterfully weaved throughout the story. 
Magic and illusion are not the same. I love how she brings this truth. Love that the main character was an apprentice to the master of illusion. She takes the use of being an apprentice and walks that road with integrity and hope. When we choose to walk with Christ we are His apprentices. We are to walk as the main character, Wren Lockhart walked…

The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson

Oh, just where do I begin? This is the stuff in which great novels are made. I made my way through this richly beautiful novel turning page after page with such deep emotion and thought. I couldn't turn the pages quick enough, but I didn't want it to end to soon. It's one of those novels you could continue reading as long as there were pages. No page just made of fluff, words with no meaning on the page. Every single line in this novel created a story that will last in my heart forever. 
Ms. Everson, I am so happy stories of the war were shared with you. Oh, to have your Sunday school teacher share with you, "You can't choose who you fall in love with, but you can choose who you marry", is a blessing that has now enchanted your readers. What a story you have weaved together. History penned with such depth, detail, and a story that captures the heart. 
This lovely story begins in 1941. The war has started. Picture a family gathered around the Zenith to hear t…

The" I Am" Makes Us Think About What "i am"

In Genesis 1:26-27 it shares something valuable to each of us about who we are in God. We are created in His image. What I love about this verse below is that is says, "make man in OUR image". What's OUR? The trinity, God, the Holy Spirit, and Christ Jesus. Ponder that. I mean really go deep. We are make in THEIR image. 
"Then God said, "Let US make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them."
We are His workmanship. He knew us before we were ever born. He weaved us together within the womb, but even before then He planned our life perfectly for us. That's so much to ponder isn't it? 
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared…

The Glassblower by Petra Durst-Benning

I came across this selection on Amazon. I had seen so many reviews that it intrigued me. I had never read anything from this German author. The cover caught my attention as did the description of this novel. 
It's a part of a trilogy. I am getting ready to open up book 2, The American Lady. I cannot wait to begin. I tell you this book marveled me. I wasn't quite sure what to expect. What a journey into another time and place. 
We travel to Germany where this novel is set. The year is 1890 and we find ourselves in Lauscha, Germany. The author did a fantastic job at the perfect description of not only the area, but circumstance, and heart of the characters. Her writing style flows so easily that the pages almost turn themselves. 
The characters are easy to love. Three sisters who are now wondering, after their father had passed from this earth,  how they will now provide for themselves. It isn't going to be easy, but these sisters show us how to prevail over challenges that…

Unexpected Blessings

The last words my dad spoke to me from his hospital bed were, "Rob, take care of your mom." Those are words I have never forgotten. I have not only honored them for my dad, but for my mom. I too am commanded by my Father to honor my mother and father.
"Honor your father and mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you." Exodus 20:12
My mom gave her life in caring for me. On my first birthday, my very first Christmas, was spent in the ICU as I was very sick with pneumonia. A little later I would burn myself with spilled coffee. A few years later I would tumble down many stairs and once again spent time in the hospital. 
I remember all the times I was sick and could feel my mom's hand brush against my forehead as she checked for fever. All the times she must have stayed up all night as I was sick. 
When I was little she would pour me a bowl of Raisin Bran. I loved it. Only I didn't like the raisins. She would take t…