Tell Me What I Want, What I Really, Really, Want…
“In today’s fracture and anxiety-ridden society, we need faith communities marked by moral depth, humility, and sacrificial love for one another more than ever. And those are the same characteristics that should separate us from a consumeristic culture.”
Pastor Rich shared with us this truth found in John’s vision in Revelation 4-5 that our activities, no matter how spiritual they look or feel, is not worshipping Jesus unless it is Jesus (in His full character) that is seated on the throne receiving said worship.
I do not want to take too much time highlighting the sermon, so please make it a point to go back and listen if you missed it. Instead, I want us to be honest about how easy it is for us to slip into consumerism, and how easy it is to be deceived along the way.
As was already mentioned, marketing (which is the vehicle that draws consumers in) is inherently structured for the consumers to place themselves at the center of the universe. Hair serums, diets, clothes, cars, homes, vacations, and everything in between is advertised in a way that seeks to convince us of two things: It will make our lives better, and I deserve it. You would be hard-pressed to find an advertisement for a product that says something like “our product has actually been proven to not be the best for you” or, “this will make your life more difficult, but trust me, it’s worth it.” Social media has just taken the issue of consumerism and thrown gasoline on the fire. Now, not only do you have companies pushing consumerism, but we now have our peers inadvertently adding to the stress and anxiety of trying to “keep up”. Our actions are fueled by our “wants”. Our “wants” are fueled by worship.
So, what does this have to do with worship? Well, when we find ourselves on the throne, we are tempted to make our worship of God be more about celebrating what we have, instead of centering ourselves on what He is doing. I hope that does not sound judgmental, after all we are also explicitly told to enter His presence with thanksgiving and praise. But, when that’s all we are looking for from “worship”, have we accidentally cut off a branch from being rooted in the Vine (Jesus) causing it to no longer produce fruit?
If worship is about celebrating what we have, what about those who are lacking? Are their cries not heard alongside our praise? Again, this is not an attack on corporate worship, and singing songs. This is an invitation for us to be able to have a richer and fuller worship experience when we recognize that our corporate times together are not “events” of worship, but gatherings to share of the worship that has already taken place and to encourage and uplift each other to continue in that worship.
What type of worship are we referring to? It is the worship found in Romans 12.
“Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1
I encourage you to read through all of chapter 12 and meditate on Paul’s words. It is a perfect chapter that details what corporate worship should look like in a church. Not just on Sunday mornings, but as a communal lifestyle that is centered on living like Jesus. If you want to dig even deeper into your Bibles, James (brother of Jesus) gives the church a lot to consider about what it looks like to actually LIVE a life of worship along with our songs of praise.
Let’s talk about what it looks like to apply Romans 12 to our worship, how we can encourage one another, continue to re-evaluate who is on the throne, how we are postured, and how we can truly seek to live and worship as One.