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Summary: The focus of worship is God and what He wants. This sermon drives that point home to end this series.

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I hope this series on worship has been helpful over the past month. At least it may have helped put you in the mood for football season! I’ve been pretty upfront about the goal here – to get us out of the armchair, and onto the field – not on Thanksgiving afternoon, necessarily, but in this business of Heaven we call worship – to get us to see ourselves as the players on the field rather than consumers and spectators who consider worship a spectator sport.

So, where do you see yourself in the stadium this morning?

One thing is for sure: God is the audience. Try to picture it. God is in the stands. He has a season ticket, and in millions of locations today, He’s watching to see His team perform.

Millions and millions of people are gathering to worship God, and He’s witnessing all of it. I wonder what that’s like. I wonder what God does and doesn’t like…

I wonder what kind of music God likes best…

I wonder if He goes to the first service, or the 2nd service…

I wonder if He prefers a small gathering, where everyone knows everyone, or if He would rather go to the big church across town…

I wonder if He likes a long, drawn-out service, or one that’s short and to the point…

I wonder if He prefers hearing a song that is old and time-tested, or one that is new…

I wonder if He likes it better in a certain order, or if He likes it to be different each time…

I wonder if He wants it to be full of technology, or plain and simple…

I wonder if He prefers it to be indoors or outdoors…

I wonder, if He wants the saints to be quiet and contemplative, or if He wants us to be loud and responsive…

It’s not a mistake that today is “Thanksgiving Sunday.” This week, as families gather around tables filled with food, we’ll bow our heads and engage in…worship. What could be more appropriate when we surround ourselves with reminders of how good God has been to us? I would imagine that He would at the very least want us to say thanks. So, what does God want that to look like and sound like this Thanksgiving?

I wonder if what God wants is really even what we concern ourselves with sometimes. If it is, then we’ll need to have some idea what He wants. I find myself praying that first God will help us to care about the things that matter the most to Him. So, I wonder. I wonder what God wants. Do you?

There was a woman who asked God this question, sort of. She wondered too, because many years before, the church across town had split from her church, and they had an ongoing open rivalry. Talk about bitter breakups! They were racially divided, culturally divided, theologically divided, geographically divided. They not only didn’t worship together; these 2 groups of people didn’t ever have much to do with each other at all. So, she asked a question. You might paraphrase it, “When it comes to our worship, what does God want?”

And that’s where we are today. I know that’s where we are in some ways, because for years there have been sibling rivalries among churches, tragically referred to as “the worship wars” – what kind of music is best, when should we meet, how long should our time together be, what should the order be, how big should a congregation be – and on and on and on. It has me asking, first of all, have we really been concerned with what matters to God all along? It may seem that I keep talking about this, but the reason is simple: until we make our first concern to be what God wants, nothing about our worship, here together or on our own, is really going to matter.


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