Summary: As we segue from community to worship and the importance of worship
February 5, 2017
For the past 4 weeks we’ve been talking about community. We know it’s important, but we often struggle with community. We get confused about how to cultivate real relationships, we struggle once we’re in them, and sometimes when 2 or 3 are gathered, we make community something which is not to be desired.
The goal is life transformation through Jesus Christ.
So, what do we do? We find community in other places. We may go to the bar, join a community organization, volunteer somewhere hoping to find what we long for. We may get involved in the church, we may even do nothing . . . or we can do what so many other people have done . . .
Get involved in cyber-communities. Yup, cyber-communities are communities you find on the internet. There was Cy-World in South Korea. Cy-World was proclaimed to be a “parallel universe unto itself.'
Cyworld wasn't a game; the goal wasn't to slay dragons or accumulate points but to socialize with 'cybuddies.'" The website said, Cyworld "emphasizes relationships between relatives, neighborhood friends, and co-workers — people who have already met in real life but yearn to also hang out online."
Don’t we have that as well? We had MySpace, anyone remember that? Then we moved on to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and whatever is next.
When you think about it, our world is becoming more and more impersonal. It's easier to hang out with friends in an online virtual world, than to have face-to-face interaction. We’ve become less interactive with family and friends. We'd rather talk to someone via texting, than to actually talk to them.
When you think about the younger generation, consider the difficulties I believe they will have communicating when all they do is text, and don’t really talk to one another. For those who grew up before the texting age, do you remember having a boy or girl friend. You spoke to them on the phone, as weird as it was, and as exhilarating as it was... You communicated and they heard your voice. Rant over!
I wonder if the church has followed the ways of this world and become more virtual than real? After all, if you don’t want to attend worship, you can always watch on TV or online. So, how can we reclaim true community and worship in the church?
In Romans 12:1-8, the apostle Paul offers some practical steps for us to grow as a community of worshipers as brothers and sisters in Christ.
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship.
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will.
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought,
but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,