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Summary: Part 3 in a series on worshiping the Lord.

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Worship as a Buffet

February 19, 2017

Genesis 18:1-8

I would like to read a passage of scripture. It comes from the first book in the Bible, the book of Genesis and is found in chapter 18. God has just established His covenant with Abraham and the people of Israel, and God told Abraham that at 100, he and Sarah, 90, would be parents. Abraham promptly laughed.

1And the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day.

2He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth

3and said, "O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. 4Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree,

5while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on — since you have come to your servant." So they said, "Do as you have said."

6And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, "Quick! Get 7 quarts of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes."

7And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly.

8Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

I want to make a confession . . . I love buffets! There you have it. There aren’t many buffets I don’t like. And once you get started, it’s hard to stop. I mean, you’ve paid for it all and now comes the time to dig in. I remember when Debbie and I went on a cruise, and we went to the midnight buffet. Now, that was fantastic, feed your face, then go to sleep and do it again the next day. We did pretty good at not gorging ourselves, but to watch the people who piled heavy foods on their plates, ugh, it was disgusting . . . but it looked so good.

So, what does this have to do with anything?

This morning I want to look at how we approach a buffet, and hopefully, I’ll link buffet eating to worship feasting!

So, how do we approach a buffet? There are a few types of buffet eaters . . .

1. The picky eaters.

2. The I’m wearing blinders eaters.

3. The I know what I like, but tempt me, please.

4. The variety is the spice to life eaters.

Now, there’s really nothing wrong with any of these. I’m not here to criticize your buffet eating habits. If you want to know, I fall into the 3rd and 4th categories.

Worship is kind of like a buffet table - - -

When we come to worship we have certain expectations. We expect certain types of music, we expect a sermon, prayer, an offering, announcements, maybe even a corny joke or story for good measure and hopefully someone to welcome and say hello to us. That’s kind of our buffet table.

There are the picky eaters. They’re the ones who are more critical of what’s going on. At the buffet, they’re critical that the food isn’t hot enough, or the restaurant is out of a certain food, or it’s too hot or cold inside. That list can go on . . . and it’s the same at worship.

Picky worshipers are looking for certain aspects and are the first to criticize. It’s like the old American Bandstand and rating a new song. They find reasons to be critical of whatever. It may be different every week, but the criticism is there.

Then there are the blinder eaters. They want only certain things. They don’t want to see other options. Just give me what I came for, get rid of everything else, and I’ll be really happy.

These folks come into worship the same way. They want to hear a certain song or style of song, if they don’t hear it, they’re upset, they’re looking only for certain aspects of the worship and don’t care if anything else works or not, because their greatest concern is themselves. If they’re satisfied, everyone else should be.

Then, there are those who like to eat the usual food, but they also want to get tempted with something that’s a little different.

They’re the same way with worship. Keep things as they are, keep the usual things the same, but periodically, tempt me with something new. Maybe a new song, or a new way to preach, or a new way to do communion. Do it tastefully, and even if I don’t like it, I’ll appreciate the effort and won’t criticize.

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