Here we go again. When I decided to write this post, I wanted to find a meme which depicted someone sleeping during a church service. Then I thought: Wait! What about my own? So, yep, what better point to make than making this personal, even at the risk of embarrassing myself. No, I recognize it could appear as if I am deep in thought, meditating or prayer. The truth of the matter is, I’m sleeping! And my wife thought it was worth snapping a photo. It was during a service and this is how I am. However, not necessarily because I’m bored, or not able to understand what is being said because of an unfamiliar language, or because the “sandman” visits me even while watching a movie on television. I attribute it mostly to age, which limits my willingness to go places if I’m going to end up napping. But, more to the point.
How many times have you walked out of a church wondering what you just heard or learned? I do every time. If I don’t receive anything which causes me to be enlightened, then you won’t have to worry about my continual presence. I need to be motivated. I need to learn something I hadn’t known before. I need to be uplifted, for these are the components of worship necessary for my involvement and, ahem, the key to keeping me awake.
How will your service be this Sabbath? Will it be someone who was drafted because you don’t have a regular pastor? Will it be read to you? Might as well make handouts, pass them out and say the Benediction. Will it be someone who you can’t wait to get passed the preliminaries because this person sharing the Word knows how to dish it out and makes you glad to have been sitting in the congregation, or, is it one of those sermons where it appears your watch is going backwards? You could almost swear when you checked the clock in the back of the sanctuary, you saw the second-hand going in reverse. Does it appear the speaker hasn’t a clue they’re putting the congregation to an early rest and they only come alive when you offer the Benediction?
Better still, how many of you will hear anything about prophecy or the Three Angel’s Message? How many will repeat the “Gospel Message” but nothing about “Present Truth”? While I am appreciative what Matthew, Mark, Luke and John wrote, but I’m more interested in what John wrote in the book of Revelation and Daniel’s book. I’m more interested in seeing someone put together a message detailing what took place during the week and show me how it all fits into today’s concerns. Or, will you be entertained by the “Praise Team” and the “Choir” with a break for picking up the offering and Prayer of Meditation? Are you one of those when kneeling during that long prayer, those close to you think you are speaking in tongues, but it is actually you snoring? Or, was your ulterior motive the fact they’re having potluck at the end of service? What brought you there? Why are you there? What did you hope to get out of it? Are you, sadly, in the wrong place and haven’t the sense to get up and go somewhere else? Is there nowhere else to go?
No, I’m not advocating leaving the church, although leaving earlier than the closing might be a necessary way of being revived since there was no revival going on inside. We really need to question our worship experience. If it is boring, so boring where you heard the door slam and it was the Holy Spirit leaving the room, or you could actually hear the Father yawn in what appeared to be the sound of thunder, then we need to find Christ where He really is. No one should have to subject themselves to where they are not getting anything and no matter how much you might want to contribute, it is not enough. How many of you would pay for a ticket if this were a college course or some other venue?
Our soul salvation is too important to leave it to the care of others especially when they haven’t a clue or they are not anointed to fulfill the position they’re in. Every service should be one where people truly say “amen”, because they enjoyed it so much, not because the speaker has finished!
February 3, 2017