Summary: A look at worship in a healthy church
Luke 19:40 Family Functions: Worship
1. My mom is one of five girls. I always felt sorry for my Grandfather being the only man in the house. Ever since her mom passed away, there has been a new emphasis on being together as family. They have every year a “sister’s weekend” where they all get together and spend time doing something. Then they usually have a picnic sometime in the summer, they call a “Steinmetz reunion” and somewhere around Christmas, they have the Steinmetz Christmas. I already shared with you last week about my one aunt and uncle and I can tell you that just like yours, we have some colorful characters in our families, characters who make our family functions rather interesting. You just never really know what’s going to happen.
2. Isn’t that true? You too have those colorful characters in your family as well. People who cause your blood pressure to raise, or who cause concern for behaviors and actions. People who might act in socially unacceptable ways at any given time without much warning. Or people who just make you laugh. On the drive home as you reflect, you might laugh, as you think to yourself, I can’t believe they did that, or said that. It takes all sorts of people to make up a family.
3. And as this is true of our families, so it is also true with the family of God. It takes all sorts of people to make up this family. God in His grace has brought all of us together. There was something that brought you to this place, to this community of faith, to this particular church and you have made it yours. You have decided that this is the place that you can call your home and the people who are here are a part of your extended family. Some of you may be related by blood and yet we are all connected through the blood of Jesus Christ.
4. And what we have done by coming together this morning is attend a family function. This is a sort of family reunion. This today, this leaving our various homes, driving over somewhat snowy and icey roads is a willingness to attend a “family function” that we call worship. You see, when we come together, whether it’s Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesday evening, or for a series of services, we are gathering together for one of the most important events in the life of this family. We are gathering together for worship.
5. My grandmother, when she knew she was near death, told her five girls, whatever you want that belongs to me, put your name on it and when I die, you can have it. So they did. Whatever they wanted, they put their names on. But my grandmother never thought far enough ahead to say, “if more than one of you wants the same thing, this is how we’ll deal with that,” and then give some kind of instructions. It was just, put your name on what you want and you can have it after I’m gone. Well, obviously, this created some problems and to this day, sometimes tensions begin to mount at some of our family functions because two sisters wanted the same things and one got it but the other one didn’t.
6. And just like other families, there are sometimes tense moments, times in which two sides both want what they want. And guess where we tend to see it the most. That’s right, here in worship. And this feuding over worship has even been given a name, they are called “worship wars”. Families in churches, splitting, over what style of music to play in worship. Have you ever heard anything so silly? I know that would never happen here right?
7. And yet, it does happen. But the question is why? And I’m going to tell you this morning why it happens. Because people have forgotten the reason why we come together. They have forgotten the purpose of worship. They have forgotten the reason we come together.
8. Before my grandmother died, I can’t think of too many times that we all got together. I know we did. I can remember a few times at their house, having a picnic in the summer and playing games in the yard but it didn’t seem that big of a deal and we didn’t do it a lot. But after she passed away, my mom and her sisters realized, I think, that time with their dad would not be as long as they would like it to be. And after my grandmother’s death, these moments, especially with my grandfather, and with one another, seemed to become much more special and much more meaningful. They understood that the reason they came together was to honor dad. To be with dad, because they never knew when they wouldn’t be able to be with him anymore.