We often talk as a church that we do not gather on Sundays as “consumers” but we gather to worship God as a church family. So, what is at stake on a Sunday morning?
I (Mike) was freshly sobered by this question while reading Paul David Tripp’s Dangerous Calling. He says,
Now, the stakes are high here. You could argue that every worship service is little more than a glory war. The great question of the gathering is, will the hearts of the group of people be captured by the one glory that is truly glorious or by the shadow glories of the created world? As a pastor, I want to do everything I can to be used of God to capture the hearts of those gathered by the rescuing glory of God’s grace, by the insight-giving glory of God’s wisdom, by the hope-giving glory of his love, by the empowering glory of his presence, by the rest-giving glory of his sovereignty, and by the saving glory of his Son. But I know that this is a battle. I am speaking to people whose hearts are fickle and easily distracted. I know I am talking to people who are seduced by other glories. I know I am talking to people who live in the light of God’s glory every day and yet are capable of being functionally blind to its splendor.
I know I am addressing the single lady who has set her heart on the affection of a certain young man whom she thinks will deliver to her happiness she has been craving. Sitting before me is the teenager who can’t think beyond the glories of Facebook, Twitter, and thePortal2 video game. In the congregation is the middle-aged man whose heart is captured by the glory of somehow, someway recapturing his youth. A wife is sitting there wondering if she will ever experience the glory of the kind of marriage that she dreamed about, the kind she knows others have. A man sits in the crowd knowing that he feeds his soul almost daily on the dark and distorted glories of pornography and has become a master at shifting spiritual gears. Some listening are more excited about a new outfit, new home, new care, new shotgun, newly sodded lawn, the opening of a new restaurant, a new vacation site, or the new promotion than they are about the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I (Mike) can be “prone to wander” in my heart and mind and forget about the “glory war” that goes on daily in all of us and specifically on Sunday morning. Let’s gather this Sunday and every Sunday with a heart to glory only in the ONE worthy of glory and let’s have eyes to see those who need encouragement to do the same!