Sunday morning I'm starting the series "Back to the Heart of Worship." I wrote this article for our bulletin as prep for that series and Sunday's sermon.
I'm coming back to the heart of worship,
And it's all about you;
It's all about you, Jesus.
I'm sorry, Lord for the thing I've made it.
It's all about you;
It's all about your, Jesus
(Michael W. Smith- "Heart of Worship")
It's easy to see the loss of proper focus in the Israelites as they made idols for themselves at the foot of Sinai. The idol was their focus. It's easy to see the loss of focus in the people of Judah as they quit just long enough to offer their sacrifices at the temple. The temple was their focus.
It's pretty easy to see the misplaced focus of the Corinthians, too. Some of them gathered early, without the rest, to eat the Lord's Supper. They ate to their fill, they drank to excess, and they despised the poor. Their focus was on their little group.
Others focused on themselves. Worship was a talent show. It was a contest for bragging rights. It was a time for self-promotion, putting down the others, interruption when necessary, and disruption for the sake of being noticed. Their common Lord was insignificant. Greatest gifts – now that's a topic of interest.
Graven images would be quickly noticed and punted around here.
But for the rest of the misplaced focuses aforementioned, there is call for caution for us. There are a few of us who will steal, murder, commit adultery – or commit our "lesser" sins – throughout the week believing that our time in the building appeases our righteous God. That's not a perfect parallel to Judah's total miss of the heart worship, but it's close enough.
I don't hear anybody among us arguing that their talent for singing is more important than another person's talent for publicly praying; but that doesn't mean that there are none of us who focus on ourselves or on our own little group of friends rather than focusing on the Spirit, the Lord, and God (1 Cor. 12:4-6). Those who give more can think less of those who give less; and vice versa. Those who have been around forever can believe that they are more important because of their tenure. Those with more public roles can believe that their work is more significant.
Let's get back to the heart of worship. God wants his will for worship to become our will for worship. That's Life at Work!