Worship is not a slow song
Worship is not a slow song. It is not a puff of energy, or emotion. Worship is unbindably linked between our love for people and our love for God. In either order. I think Jesus quoted it in the order he did because literacy is written in binary you can’t write two sentences super-imposed. But if it could, it would be written in quantum writing, both simultaneously interwoven. Love God/people/God/people/God or love God-’s-people.
In the words of Joel Houston, the son of Hillsong pastor Brian Osteen. You can’t spend time with a God who loves people, and not go away loving people.
Living in Houston. In the wake of hurricane Harvey. Overwhelmingly, I have seen the church rise up to serve. Opening church doors, giving out food. Most significantly, going out to repair houses. Giving time, energy and resource making great sacrifices out of love.
This is the foundation of worship.
There is no way you can pretend to love God at church when brothers in Houston, Louisiana, India, Venezuela, or Africa are naked, persecuted and afraid. And you care more about looking at how others lift hands, pray, praise, than the needs of these.
I have been in churches with pastors who look to their own needs. Fix their business, checking on their personal affairs. Sometimes announcing wanting to help others, but sending no team to help. This is not worship.
During the time of the apostle Paul, he specifically raised offerings for poor-suffering Christians in other regions. When the church has a need in Africa, it is our church. It isn’t ‘Insert church name’ in TX is where my money goes, but our money goes to ‘the’ church of Christ. And Paul used to collect this money.
Many organizations do exist to collect and distribute to the need: Ravi Zachariaz, Messenger International, CBN etc. But why was I brought up in a church that in memory gave only 1 or 2 times to the needs of the global body of Christ. I ask myself this question repeated times.
A focus on the needs of others, the local homeless, poor in other areas would have been a catalyst with which to have shifted our adolescent minds from our love-troubles to greater needs.
Jesus defines a Christian — those who are charitable to another (good samaritan / sheep vs goats.
Jesus doesn’t define a Christian as a slow-song worshiper, that kind of intimacy is reserved for someone who loves a human being. After all, we are crafted by God’s hand.
I am not humanistic. Humanism as a sole principle is a replacement for God. But our love for others should be the template by which humanists get their ideals. As always the church has been the light by which the world defines it’s shadow principles.
Jesus himself spent day after day in the streets, talking to people. Healing everybody. He didn’t make exceptions on sex, age, sin. He healed whoever had faith. We get people saying “there is no use giving without giving the gospel”. But Jesus did not packadge his help. He gave the gospel and the help.
When the church were labelled, they were not labeled ‘disples’, but ‘Christians’. Christian means ‘mini Christs’. Therefore, they mimiced Jesus. Giving, visiting, clothing, loving the people around them. We have been handed down this label, and give it to ourselves “I am a Christian” we say. Yet we cannot give ourselves this label. It is like a child saying “I am a doctor”, when a child could not be qualified for this. We need to qualify, through grace, showing our faith in action. For others to say “that there must be a follower of Christ”. A Christian.
We need to be charitable of heart.
If the carpet is ripped up, what is underneath should be charity. Before we worship, between services, this is the litmus test of our worship.