Summary: Sabbath worship is one of those times when our hearts are bound in unity. A unity that revolves around lovingly adoring God Almighty!
Scripture Text: Psalm 95.1-8a
Several years ago, my wife and I spent a weekend in Manhattan, New York Since we were there over a Sunday, we wanted to find a church to attend. If you’ve ever been to lower-Manhattan, …you probably-know that there are plenty of sky-skrapers; …there are lots-of office-buildings; …plenty of pavement and taxis and rats runnin’-around-in-the-streets; …but there aren’t many churches!
As-a-matter-of-fact, we only found one: St. Paul’s Church. St. Paul’s is a beautiful, …dignified building. It is surrounded by a graveyard ~ …with some gravestones that are approaching 300 years old!
We went to the early service; …and there were just a handful-of-people there, that-morning; …I suppose the small-crowd was due-to the early-hour!
Now, we didn’t go to worship and start-snappin’ photos during the prayer-time ~ …I down-loaded these pictures from the internet! But, in these pictures, there are colorful-banners hanging from the tall-columns on either-side of the sanctuary. I have a feelin’ that these pictures were taken sometime during-the-week, …and the people are tourists. But, on the Sunday that we there were… Maybe a couple-dozen-folks gathered with us for worship.
Again, you can see the banners and the tall-stately-columns. If I remember correctly, it is the oldest, continually-used building in all-of-Manhattan! As a matter of fact, …this is the church that our first President worshiped in! And over-on-the-left-side of the sanctuary, is a chair, separated from the rest of the pews by a railing. This was President George Washington’s personal seat! I remember standing there, after worship, …looking at the presidential seal hangin’ on the wall, …imagining him sitting-there on a Sunday-morning, …and marveling at the history of this church.
Well… that trip was more than 10 years ago… But, the Lord brought that experience back-to-my-mind. And, along with that memory, …came a question; The question was: Is St. Paul’s church a museum ~ Is it a relic of a storied-past… filled with good-memories… and great accomplishments; …or …is it a vibrant community of faith, …where Christians meet to worship the King of the universe, …and where sinners hear about the hope of the gospel?
I thoroughly enjoy museums. I appreciate history. I have no problem with reminiscing and remembering and honoring days-gone-by. But, when it comes to the Church, …I think that there is more to who-we-are …and why-we-are than the past! Otherwise, …we’d just be a library, …a museum, …an archive of old information and past-experiences!
That may seem a little-ironic ~ …since last-week our whole emphasis was on remembering.ˆ
Remembering a sanctified-history; …remembering the glory of what-God’s-done for us.