Greg briefly contrasted learning “about” a relationship with God while listening to a sermon to “doing” your relationship with God through worship. The first is a passive task, while the latter is active and requires us to involve our heart, soul, mind, body and strength. Because both sermons and worship play an important role in spiritual development, one should not be neglected in favor of the other.
This weekend Greg preached a short sermon on worship. He started out with a memory of his experience as a child. His family would frequently race to church late and get there just in time to catch the mass (Catholic church context) or communion, as we refer to it. His impression was that this was the most important part of the service and so if they got there in time for that, they were satisfying the basic requirement for worship. The parallel that Greg drew for us today is that there are some who seem to think that the sermon is really the most important part of the service. Those who believe this may be tempted to come just in time to hear the sermon, but skip over the worship time that precedes.
We know that we are to worship God with all of our heart, soul, mind, body, strength, all that we are. Simply listening to the sermon is not enough. There is no participation other than that of the mind when we do this. It is for this reason that we must choose to enter into worship with all of who we are when we are given the chance to do this each weekend. We come together as the Bride of Christ to offer our praise and thanks and adoration as a group, as members of one body. God’s promise to us in this is that God does indeed inhabit the praises that we offer.
Greg’s message was clear. The sermon is an abstraction, a way of talking “about” faith, “about” worship, “about” discipleship. Doing it is another thing. We are given the opportunity each weekend to enter in and “do” worship and God is surely worthy of this.
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