Last week I was exercising my gift of “remoting” — surfing through the 800+ channels on Direct TV — when an episode of Family Feud caught my attention. The question given to the contestants was, “Name something you usually find at church.”
There were 6 possible answers. Care to guess what they were? If you guessed “singing,” you got the #1 answer. Other answers included, “collection plate” (#2), “praying” (#3), and “sermon” (5).
If you’re counting, that leaves 2 answers. After 3 XXX’s passed the question to the other family, the new clan had one try to “steal” the money. They couldn’t come up with a correct answer either.
Trying to guess the answers to #4 and #6?
If you’re thinking “communion” … or “baptism” … or “fellowship” … you get a big X.
Nope, none of these. The final answers were “dozing off” (#4) and “going to the bathroom” (#6). The final answers may not be too spiritual, but you’ll find them both in almost every church on any given Sunday.
I am thinking that the answers may not be in the right order. It seems to me that the “sermon” should have been right before “dozing.” I think you can figure out why. (Note: when people nod in church it doesn’t mean they are agreeing.)
Did you notice anything missing? Worship didn’t make the survey.
Okay, you could argue that singing, giving, praying, and preaching are all intended to be expressions of worship, and I would whole-heartedly agree. But is it possible to sing … to give … to pray … to listen to a sermon without worshipping?
Jesus observed the ostentatious display of Israel’s worship with its elaborate ceremonies and high rituals — He wasn’t impressed. He said …
Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips. But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me …” (Matt 15:7-9).
They said the right things and performed flawlessly, but their worship was a farce. It was a show – impressive to most, except the One who sees the heart. We can sing from our diaphragm, pray from our lips, give from our hands, and listen with our ears — and do all of this in grand style – but true worship always proceeds from the heart.
What is the indispensable essential in our worship? We must worship Him in spirit and in truth.