Do you remember birthday parties as a kid? Stuffing your face with cake, getting jealous at all the presents the birthday boy or girl were opening, sulking when you didn’t win one of the games, getting into fights on the bouncy castle. Well now I’m an adult not much has changed. Not in terms of the actual events but in terms of the way I engage with the party. I still go in with the same selfish attitude, making someone else’s party about me, when at the end of the day the party isn’t for me – it’s for them.
We often comment most on the worship and word in a service, whether they were good or bad, did they scratch our itch or just leave us scratching our heads? Sometimes we wish we had the glory of being in the worship band or on the preaching team, we get slightly jealous of others’ giftings, and sulk when people don’t spend as much time talking to us after the service as they do to another, we get into fights on the bouncy castle. But that is making church, and particularly worship, about us. But it’s not for us – it’s for Him, it’s about Him. That stands whether the band’s rubbish, the person next to you is out of tune or the dinner’s burning. It stands when you are so caught up in a song that you forget about the words and significance of the words you are singing.
Isaiah 29:13 ‘The Lord says: These people come near to me with their mouth and honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.’