Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The God We Worship

"Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious” (Acts 17:22).

We have now looked at four great hymns in Luke 1 and 2: the Magnificat, or Song of Mary (Luke 1:46–55); the Benedictus, or Song of Zechariah (Luke 1:68–79); the Gloria Patri, or Song of the Angels (Luke 2:14); and the Nunc Dimittis, or Song of Simeon (Luke 2:29–32).

These hymns lead us to the subject of worship. When Christ appeared, all creation worshiped Him. Worship is our first response to God. For the next several days, then, I want to consider the God we worship.

Worship is often dull and boring in our churches today. In fact, it often seems there is not much real “worship” of God going on. Many people have drifted away from Sunday worship. I am convinced there is a profound reason why worship has been in decline, something that goes beyond the “problem of archaic language” and the “difficulty of adjustment to unfamiliar rituals.” I am persuaded that the biggest reason why worship has become irrelevant to multitudes of people is that people are bored by a God they really don’t know and therefore consider Him irrelevant.

Is God boring? The God who made heaven and earth, who parted the Red Sea, who appears in glory surrounded by millions of angels—is He dull? Is such a God irrelevant to us? Of course not. Yet people seem to find it boring to enter His presence for adoration and worship.

As the image of God, human beings have an irrepressible drive to worship something. If we don’t worship God, we shall worship idols. Worship is therefore inescapable. Paul made this point to the Athenians, when he said, “as I walked around and observed your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: To An Unknown God. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you” (Acts 17:23). If we are not excited about the worship of the true God, perhaps we had better start by getting to know Him better.

Do you find yourself bored in church? Before assigning blame elsewhere, determine first whether the problem lies within yourself. Examine yourself. Perhaps you will find a lack of love of Christ, ingratitude towards God, an attitude problem or an improper view of the Sabbath itself.