This is the first Digging Deeper for the Worship Vital Signs Sermon Series.
Perhaps the longest continuing war in the in any household is the war over the remote. Everyone seems to have an opinion. When the boys go down to rest, they often watch a movie. Well, we have to have a rotation to ensure that it is equal for everyone. That way the “I don’t want to watch that” argument doesn’t hold any water. Yet, we don’t seem to grow out of it too often. Krys and I have similar taste in TV Shows, but I love reality TV. I like to watch shows like Shark Tank, American Ninja Warrior, American Grit among others. Krys would prefer to watch a crime thriller or drama such as How to Get Away with Murder. How do we reconcile that battle? We generally watch those shows on our own time. What’s the takeaway? The person with the remote carries the power!
In contemporary church culture, too often we’ve developed this “remote” style experience of church. If we don’t like what we see, we can change the channel (or our attendance). We’ve made the experience about us rather than about God. We’ve stopped prizing God and we’ve put ourselves on the throne (with the remote). Some may say, “Oh, it’s not true.” Yes it is. For instance, some do not like contemporary praise music, so then they may not go to church that day, or they “tune out” they hit the “mute” button and suffer through the song, hoping the next one is better. Perhaps you don’t like hymns, and you then schedule to be gone on a certain day or volunteer to teach to avoid being in that service. Perhaps you see a certain speaker is coming and you negotiate with your spouse to go to “Rollover Reformed” that Sunday morning.
We’ve taken the battle of the remote control to the church and we need to give it back to God. Worship is and always has been about God. Worship should stem from our hearts and it should be full of joy!
Look at the words of Psalm 100 (ESV).
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
3 Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;[a]
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
5 For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
As Christians our call should be not to seek our own interests, but to seek the interests of others and in doing so we honor God. Our time and energies should be spent trying to reach and save the lost rather than making ourselves more comfortable and worrying about what I want/need. Seeking our own comfort in lieu of reaching out is not biblical. The biblical command is not to eat drink and be merry, but to go, and make disciples. The Good Shepherd did not spend his time worrying about the quality of the food, upgrading the fences or petting the ninety-nine sheep in the pen. The Shepherd leaves the pen and he goes after the lost one.
Where/when in our service might you be “changing the channel” or hitting the mute button?
In what ways have you been more concerned about your comfort than the lost on the outside of the church?
How are you going to be joy-filled this week? How will you worship God this week?
God, we are sorry for taking control of the “worship remote” and making it all about us. Forgive us and set our sights back upon you seated on your rightful place, the throne of the world and our hearts. Amen.