Sunday, October 18, 2020

The Worship of the Son of God

"If fire is lacking in the pulpit, then it is up to us to kindle it in the pew" BB Warfield

Any pastor worth his salt is constantly thinking (and sometimes, unfortunately, obsessing), about the attendance of church members at the services of the church. Seems that the enthusiasm of some church members waxes and wanes, sometimes from extreme highs to extreme lows. There are always members who are spotty in their attendance, often for seemingly trivial or even indistinguishable reasons. Then there are those who struggle with their emotional state and who go from highs, when they feel energetic and ready for everything, to lows when they lack the desire to do just about anything.

The reasons to be faithful in attending the worship services of the church are numerous. First among them, of course, is that we are commanded to worship. The well-known passage in Hebrews 10, warns the believers to not forsake the assembling of themselves together. Even as early as the time the letter was written, likely sometime in the late 60's, there were those who were already neglecting the meeting of the church. And that is considering that they didn't have the availability of online church resources that we have today. So, church absenteeism has been a problem pretty much from the beginning of the New Testament age.

But one issue that I have seldom, if ever, seen emphasized is the example that Christ left for us when it comes to worshiping with the body. "He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read" (Luke 4:16). The Son of God did not neglect the meeting of the body of the time. We see throughout the New Testament, the many instances when He was either worshiping in the synagogue, as in our example, or in the temple teaching and interacting with the teachers of the day. Even in his early years, He is found in the temple asking questions of the teachers of Israel.

Since the Son of God found it necessary to worship with the body, why do we think that it is okay for us to absent ourselves from the meetings of the church? Are we greater than He? Or is our knowledge somehow so much greater than His that we think that we can be exempted from learning and, if qualified to do so, teaching? We often hear folks speak of how we should have the same view of the Scriptures that Jesus had. And that is rightly stated. If that is the case, then we should also have the same view of corporate worship that He had. 

Finally, those who are often missing from the meetings, seem to fail to understand the importance of their attendance for the other members. Our society is so "me-centered," that even in the church people think that they are there solely to "get something out of it." You see that attitude reflected in how often people are church hopping. They come to a congregation that, by all accounts is solid and teaches the word of God, and they leave because they didn't find what they were looking for. Whether programs, fellowships, etc., if the one thing that will make a difference isn't there, they will bolt for some other congregation that will give them what they want. Instead, they should offer their best to the body. If we look for what we can give rather than what we can get, we will be amazed by how different church services look to us!



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