122 I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord!”
2 Our feet have been standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem!
3 Jerusalem—built as a city
that is bound firmly together,
4 to which the tribes go up,
the tribes of the Lord,
as was decreed for[a] Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
5 There thrones for judgment were set,
the thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
“May they be secure who love you!
7 Peace be within your walls
and security within your towers!”
8 For my brothers and companions’ sake
I will say, “Peace be within you!”
9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your good.
Corporate Worship is something we all talk about. At Man Up we even talk about exercising your faith muscle by attending corporate worship. Unfortunately, for many, if not most of us, the experience of corporate worship over the past year has been anything but normal. The global COVID-19 pandemic had a serious effect on corporate Christian worship across the globe. However, corporate worship has been in dire straits for much longer than the past year. Some minor examples:
· In Europe houses of worship have sat vacant for decades and the once bastion of Christianity has become totally secularized.
· In the United States, the Sunday morning worship hour is still the most segregated time in the land.
· Most congregations have females comprise greater than 50% of their attendees on any given Sunday.
· There is a movement towards “Worship as Entertainment” in recent years.
Let’s start with “Worship of Entertainment.” In recent years, people have jumped from one church to another because a church they were attending did not have a “cool worship service” or they did not feel entertained. Some us this comes from an incorrect perspective of what worship is. Søren Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher, said that most people view worship as God prompting the worship leaders who perform for the congregation; the proper view of worship is the worship leaders prompting the congregation who perform for God as the audience. If we are looking to be entertained, we are missing the point of worship.
The other point, that females make up considerably more than 50% of the congregation on Sunday mornings is another matter. Men, by and large, don’t attend worship regularly. Why? Is it because, as one author I read suggested, that Christianity has been designed to attract women to attend? Is it because men don’t like to get their feelings involved? Does it have to do with American attitudes of rugged individualism? Is it because in todays hurried world men don’t have the time? Is it because men feel that the Church is not impacting their lives? I have not found any good answers. The answers really don’t matter. For that point, neither do the questions. We are called to worship God regularly. The Christ who we worship on Easter left that as a command from the book of Hebrews – 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. – Hebrews 10:24-25. Sometimes following Christ is hard. We have to give up things. We have to make hard decisions. Sometimes those decisions involve us choosing to spend time in the house of the Lord so that we can join with the Psalmist and say “I Was glad when they said let us go to the house of the Lord.”