When Worship Was Considered a Privilege

“My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.” (Ps 84:2)
 
Ask David how he felt when he couldn’t go to the temple or gather with his fellow Jews because Saul had exiled him. Ask Daniel what it felt like to pray facing Jerusalem knowing he would likely never visit it. Ask Jeremiah what it was like to watch the temple torn down and Judaism outlawed in his homeland.
 
We’ve lost track of what matters in a worship service. We worry about whether the pews are padded and whether the songs are contemporary enough. We are coached to find a church that “speaks to our hearts” and that has good childcare services… something went really awry with our priorities. We’re busy trying to decide whether it is worth it to get up on a Sunday morning to go to services while the first-century Christians were wondering if they would be arrested for meeting. We’ve gone soft… and by ‘we’ I don’t mean ‘everyone else’. I mean me.
 
I’m soft and lazy and I take for granted the privileges to gather openly with God’s people to talk about things like life, death, heaven, and the glory of our Creator. I forget to be in awe of what opportunities I enjoy that Christians in China, India, and dozens of other countries don’t due to government persecution, systemic generational persecution, and cultural attacks.
 
What I can do freely, others have had to do shrouded in secrecy while facing the constant threat of violence against themselves and their families. At least for American Christians: it’s time we all grow up and show up. We’ve got it too good to waste the blessing.
 
“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.” (Jhn 4:23)
 
Matt. 4:4 #Biblebites

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