Monday, March 27, 2006

Convenient Worship

One of the churches near us is advertising 5:30am worship services on Sunday morning. My first thought was; poor preacher then I began to wonder why they would have a worship service so early in the morning (I am not a morning person). The congregation is not large enough to need a second service, so why would they do this.

Some friends we knew, when we lived in the Caribbean, were catholic and started attending Saturday Night mass so they could "get it out of the way" as she put it. Another denomination, in the town we moved from, began having Saturday evening worship and another one not far from there even began serving the Lord's supper on Saturday evenings--"so you could get it out of the way", I suppose. All of these were arranging their services for the convenience of their members--not for the purpose of being in obedience to God's word.

So what about this 5:30am service. It is not the only service they are having--they are still having the regularly scheduled one. The only conclusion I could think of is it is a matter of convenience for some of the members and maybe to attract others to worship with them. Certainly there is nothing "wrong" with meeting at 5:30 on Sunday morning to worship and they may see the need to do this to accommodate members who must work on Sundays. But it did get me to thinking about how some churches are beginning to do what ever it takes to attract members.

Our worship to God, as Christians, is not a matter of convenience or choice--it is a matter of command. Hebrews 10:25 says, "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is..." Furthermore, the New Testament makes it clear that we are to come together on the first day of the week (Sunday), 1 Corinthians 16:2. When we begin to change the day we choose to worship God and, for that matter whether we will even go and worship God, then we are disobedient servants.

According to Strong's, the word "worship" means, "serve; to render religious homage". From the definition then, it is obvious that we are going to worship the divine and not ourselves--we are going to serve at His command, not our convenience. The Jews, under their law, understood that they had no choice in the "day" they were to keep holy--it was the sabbath (seventh day, Saturday). The same is true for us today; we have no "choice" in the day we are to worship. We need to be very careful when we begin to "adjust" our worship for our convenience--it is not for us, it is for Him.

Dana Burk

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