Dear Beachside Family and Friends,
I have visited some top-notch clubs in my lifetime. They were places where one could kick back, snack, and listen to some of the best top 40 tunes played by hip bands. You could dance and shout, and meet some interesting people doing the same. My friends and I would talk about the meaning of life, and after a while a good stand-up comic would take the stage, entertaining us with his or her take on society, and wowing us with witty repartee. When it was all over we left feeling good, planning to return the next week for more of the same.
Some people invited me to join them at a new place, and I went not knowing what to expect. Would this new club be any different? When I arrived, I grabbed some goodies and a drink, and headed to my seat. The band was smokin' and everyone was dancing and having a good time. I met some new people. A man took the stage and began his routine which was funny and addressed some of the needs of society. I left feeling good, but thinking that this place wasn't really different than all the other clubs I'd been to. It was on the way out I saw something I had missed. The sign in the parking lot said CHURCH.
What is church, and what is its' purpose? Is it supposed to be about entertainment and feeling good? Is it really about me at all? It seems that we have allowed popular culture to define what church is about, rather than having church influence the culture. There is nothing wrong with good bands and entertaining speakers, but recent trends cause me to ask the question: is church about what we want, or what God wants? If the purpose of church is to make me feel good, then in what way is it different from the nightclubs and social events I used to frequent? After much consideration, I have arrived at this conclusion: Church SHOULD be different from the world and pop culture. Why? Church should always be about God and not me.
God desires worship, worship that doesn't tell Him all about what I'm going through (He already knows), but that tells Him how Wonderful and Amazing He is. He wants me to listen to what He says through His Word, the Bible, and not what the latest pop psychology espouses. In short, church should be about worshipping Him and listening to what He says. Peter said this: "I really understand now that to God every person is the same. In every country God accepts anyone who worships him and does what is right.' (Acts 10:34-35) God accepts us not because of what church does for us, but because of what we do IN church: worshipping Him and hearing His Word, the Bible.
I look forward to seeing you Sunday for Worship and the Word!