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Your Living Underlines or Deletes Your Worship
by Tom Goodman
January 8, 2014

I read about a chapel that has two simple stained-glass windows.  Over the choir loft was a window depicting an empty cross, and over the back door was a window depicting a yoke.  As the worshippers came in every Sunday, they looked at the empty cross and worshipped the risen Savior.  As the worshippers turned to leave, they looked at that yoke and remembered that they were servants of the King.

That.  Right there.

Worship leads to service -- and service is fueled by worship.  Remember that in this new year.

I'm struck -- no, I'm haunted -- by the words of Psalm 95:8.  "Today, if you hear his voice," the poet warned, "do not harden your hearts."  What strikes me -- haunts me -- about these words is that they were addressed to worshippers.  "Come, let us sing for joy," the poet exclaims in the first half of the psalm.  "Let us extol him with music and song!"  And yet the psalm shifts abruptly at midpoint to a warning about ignoring the God we worship.

Ah me.

Most of you have worked with word processors on computers.  You can put words on the screen and then, with a few keystrokes or mouse clicks, you can either underline those words or delete those words before it even goes to print.  After we've worshipped in a public gathering, what we do out in the world either underlines or deletes the words we've sung and prayed.  Our attitudes at work, our attentiveness to someone in need, our purity even in our private thoughts, our integrity in business transactions, our kindness -- it all either underlines or deletes what has been done in our Sunday worship meetings.

Does our behavior save us?  Of course not.  For that we can only cast ourselves on the mercy of God as revealed at the cross.  But I like Dallas Willard's warning.  The philosopher and Christian said, "You might wish to think about what kind of person you are becoming, and whether you really would be comfortable for eternity in the presence of one whose company you have not found especially desirable for the few hours and days of earthly existence."

So, we'll gather with fellow believers for a time of worship this Sunday.  But then?  Will we honor God with our lifestyle in the grind of daily living?  "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your heart."

Let's spend some more time talking about this at 10am this Sunday.  Join us!


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