Occasionally one of our members will have had the opportunity to attend some kind of "big box" church that features a slick band, lighting worthy of a Broadway show, and glib speaker who is more performer than proclaimer.
After hearing their excitement about all of this, I often think, "Boy, are they going to be disappointed with our worship."
For a church our size I think our music ministry is outstanding. But we do it primarily with volunteers. Our church sanctuary has the feel of a church and not an auditorium. And "glib speaker" is not a term that people are going to hang on me.
I used to get kind of discouraged when one of our folks would come back raving from their experience at the "big box" church. But then I stumbled upon a quote from author, Art Just, from his book, "Heaven on Earth," that put everything in perspective:
No matter how difficult our hymns, how untrained our organist, how weak our singing, God is present in our liturgy, offering His gifts of salvation.
Worship is our opportunity to be served by God. Yes, you read that right. God serves us in worship. He comes to us and speaks a Word of forgiveness to our burdened and anxious hearts. He feeds our faith as He invites us to come to His table of grace. He proclaims His Word of hope and love in Christ Jesus so that we might have no doubt that we are His loved children.
And, in worship, we're not passive spectators. We answer with God's Word when He speaks to us. We offer our praises in words and songs. We get to give our tithes and offerings, one way to show our appreciation and love for our Lord.
Just helped me to realize that the point of worship is not to dazzle those who attend. Having God come and serve us in worship is a greater blessing than anything we can do on our own.
So be in worship with us this Sunday. The Lord will be there in Word and Sacrament - God is with us.