Summary: In the Old Testament (1 Kings 7:15-22), Solomon built the temple and named the pillars Jakin (He shall establish) and Boaz (In Him in strength) so that the people would remember not to be casual worshippers, but to draw near to Him, so He would draw near
Central truth: If you draw near to God, He will draw near to you.
IF YOU DRAW NEAR TO GOD, HE WILL DRAW NEAR TO YOU.
A few years ago, my family and I stayed at the Hilton Waikoloa Hotel on the Big Island of Hawaii It is our favorite hotel because of a boat and a tram that takes its visitors around the very scenic hotel.
I remember a lesson I discovered there that impacted me heavily. I learned that people on a tram and people in church often have a similar approach. Most are well behaved and are presentable. Some take the time to sit back, close their eyes, and relax while others stare out the window. Still others sit there and while their bodies are present, it is obvious that their minds are elsewhere. Many on the tram (like far too many people at church) are satisfied having a predictable and “nice” experience. For many, the mark of a good ride and a good worship service are very similar. After a good tram ride we say, “That was a nice ride,” then we move on and leave the same way we entered. After a routine worship service we may say, “That was a nice service,” then we move on and leave the same way we entered.
There are a few, however, who are not content with “nice.” They want something more. My son Josiah was obsessed with Thomas the Train at the time and was thrilled to see the tram (or train as he called it). The night that we visited the tram, there were few people there. As people were exiting and entering, Josiah wanted more. He was not content to just go for a ride. He wanted to meet the tram controller (or in his mind, the train conductor), and see the controls.
To say that he was thrilled when the woman driving said “Well, come on in!” would be an understatement. I remember how gracious she was. Since it was later in the evening and she didn’t think she’d get in trouble, she even let him talk on the PA system. Before the tram left the stop, everyone on the tram heard a high pitched voice of my two year old boy enthusiastically saying, “ALL ABOARD!”
I was excited for him and let him go up front with the gracious tram driver. Josiah was thrilled and when the trip was over, he was thrilled to let us know, “Wow! I met the lady up front!”
The other passengers weren’t very enthusiastic. Most were content to sit and wait until their ride was over, then to move on. There were some really red tourists that looked like they were from the mainland and had yet to discover sun tan lotion looked. They looked miserable. A couple from Japan looked excited. The rest were content to have a predictable, uneventful journey. They were content with a “nice” ride.
Just like that tram ride, most churches have a group of people that are presentable and content, a few people who are miserable being there, and a handful who really desire to meet the God who is “up front!“ We are going to learn this morning, the importance of celebrating the Savior and we will learn about the attitude we should have when we come to the House of God.