Monday, July 28, 2008

On loving church

I love my church. I love the people that make up my church. I love the worship style (somewhat mixed) at our church. I love the way the word is preached. I love the way the Holy Spirit moves and works visibly in the people in my church. I just flat out love love love my church.

What’s so wrong with that?

In our church, we have a blend. Several times a month we have a “band service” - which in our congregation simply means we have guitars, drums, piano and most likely some newer praise songs ala Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Jeremy Camp, etc. I’ll be honest here, I love band services most of all. Sure, I love to sing a hymn every now and again. Yes, absolutely. I grew up on hymns. But there is something about contemporary (I hate that label, by the way, but am forced to use it for clarification’s sake) music that pulls at me intensely. I hear the opening chords of a song like “God of Wonders” and my heart just snaps to attention instantly. I identify with that style of music more than any other. We have never sung a song in our church which was “too loud” or “too heavy” for my taste.

Last night, I was really excited because we were going to have a band service. I was stoked.

And then came the rain.

The skies grew darker and more volatile, and it became clear that there would be no church, no band service, no worship time, this Sunday night. As I sat in the basement watching the radar screen on the t.v., I began to get very frustrated. And angry. Someone should go back and tell 13-year-old me that someday she would be upset when she missed church.

I grew tired of and impatient with Reagan’s cute, but naughty, behavior. I snapped at Brian when he told me I should not drive to church to see if it was cancelled - the weather was too bad. I was mad that I had just finished getting ready when the storm hit. What a waste of a night.

I sat in my basement, angrily watching the weather reporters describe storm paths and storm damage. I listened to the sirens going off in town. Brian took Reagan back upstairs when the all clear signal came, so that I could have a break. I obviously needed one.

And then He whispered.

Maybe, my child, you love going to church more than you love me.

Whoa. What did you just say God?

You wanted to go to church for the music, for the band service, more than you wanted to go and worship me.

After several moments of silence, I knew He was right.

It’s a dangerous line I walk, this line between loving to worship God and loving worship. When loving worship becomes more than loving God, I cross into some bad territory. There’s that place where I’m going for me, and that it’s a worship service is convenient - a good way to make it look righteous.

I’d love to tell you that I saw the error of my ways and immediately set to work on making things right. I’d love to tell you that I just pulled out my guitar and had my own church time right there, by myself, in my basement. I’d love to tell you that I didn’t sit there on the couch and mindlessly watch stupid t.v. shows for the rest of the night. I’d love to tell you that I left all my anger and frustration right there, where God confronted me about it.

But I didn’t. I felt numb. Something I really loved was taken away and I understood why, but I was sad, just the same.

Yes, I know, there will be more church services. There will be more band services. There will be more opportunities to worship. Its not as if this was my last chance. In some way, it was really good for me, because I was shown the flaws in my own heart.

But I long for heaven just a little bit more on nights like this. I long for a world where we are not interrupted in our worship. I long for a world where our passions, however holy they may seem, are never corrupt. I long for Jesus to come back and make everything right. I long for him to return, to hear that trumpet sound, to watch the clouds break apart, to see the glory surrounding him.

Worship services never seem like enough for me. I leave wanting more. I want to keep singing. To keep praying. To keep reading his word. And the 6 days in between Sunday are, sometimes, just too much. Because I was made to worship. We all were. Its in the echo of every heartbeat. Whether we know it or not, we were made to worship. We were created to glorify Him. The very rhythm in our lives draws us to bow before a throne. And we seek the wrong ones all too often.

Can you imagine what peace there will be when we finally experience worship in its truest form - literally in the presence of the living God?

Come quickly, Lord Jesus. Come quickly.


Anonymous said...

I think it is awesome how we all feel closer to God in different ways and places. I just could not stay inside. When I see the deep colors, the wind blowing over there and rain the other way, sun shining in another direction, I just get chills. Me, standing there absorbing it all. Just imaging that God will send his angels through the clouds. The lighting show just amazes me. I get chills just standing there. I can hardly believe it is real. So beautiful. I got more out of this storm than sitting inside a man-made building. The song All Thingd Bright and Beautiful is filling my head. Sorry this a long post. It is great that we are different and feel close to him in our own way.!!!

Dale Deur said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dale Deur said...

So...I was bugged, too. I was in town already. I wanted to hear Brian preach again, I wanted to hear the band play, I just wanted to worship again. But, God doesn't promise to give us what we WANT, he promises to give us what we NEED. We all must have needed an evening at home last night (was Fellowship of the Ring a part of the plan?).
(had a typo and had to delete the last one):-)

Miz Jean said...

We get such a small glimpse of God's great power in storms. Isn't that amazing? Wow! I'm so glad you were brought to worship him as the storm moved through! That's truly awesome!

And Dale, I was hoping someone would call me and say, "Yeah, we're going to have church at 7:30 so come on out!" But no one did. :( Oh well. Your viewing choices were better than mine, I'm afraid.