A while back I won the "Stepping Up" Bible Study at Chrysalis. While doing that study Beth Moore used as a reference the book "A long obedience in the same direction" by Eugene Peterson. I decided to bring it up to the UP with me and read from a chapter a day.
On one particular day I read Psalm 122:
inside Jerusalem's walls!
Jerusalem, well-built city,
built as a place for worship!
The city to which the tribes ascend,
all God's tribes go up to worship,
To give thanks to the name of God—
this is what it means to be Isr ael.
Thrones for righteous judgment
are set there, famous David-thrones.
Pray for Jerusalem's peace!
Prosperity to all you Jerusalem-lovers!
Friendly insiders, get along!
Hostile outsiders, keep your distance!
For the sake of my family and friends,
I say it again: live in peace!
For the sake of the house of our God, God,
I'll do my very best for you.
While reading this a thought came to mind, "Is the church today what Christ envisioned, or even what the Apostle Paul envisioned? Have what we have made of church taken away from the reason we come together in the first place? I say "No" to the first question, and "Yes" to the second. Why?
In this Psalms the Israelites are singing after entering the Holy city of Jerusalem. They are there to worship their Creator and King as a collective body of His children. They are there for Him! It thrilled their heart to be there! They desired to be in the presence of the Almighty One, and for them this was the place to be near him.
We go to church on Sunday to do the same thing. At least that is the way it should be. We come together with fellow believers to wors hip our Creator, the Almighty One, our Abba Father! It is not for us! It is and should be all about Him! We have made it so much about what music is playing, what types of programs do they have, who goes there, liking the Pastor, the list goes on and on! We need to look at and consider our reasons for being together under one roof - IT IS FOR GOD! Nothing else matters!
So many churches get so wrapped up in the managing of the church that the reason we gather together is lost. In the denomination that I attend we have something called the BCO or book of church order. I'm sure most if not all of your denominations have something like this. This is the book the leadership goes to whe n a decision has to be made. To me it's like a law book of precedents. There were issues in the past and the governing body needed to take care of things, probably where 2 people did not agree, so they make a decision and put it down in the BCO. Now don't get me wrong, if it is biblically sound I have no problem with the book of church order, but where my problem comes in is where the rule does not have biblical merit. Like say for example we have a congregational meeting every year. At the current meeting we have to approve the minutes of the last years meeting (the lasts years)! Is that biblical? Isn't it just silly the amount of work that needs to be done to run a church!
What God wants when we come together is our WORSHIP, our hearts locked unto Him! Seeing who he is and seeing who we are, and that He loves us anyway! Oh what a joy it is to be in His presence with my fellow family members at Lighthouse! My heart does indeed leap for joy when I get to attend a service!
I am joining with others over at Forever His in sharing God's word today. Go check them out!