Monday, June 29, 2015

The mighty 1%

Pastors hear a great many excuses.  Take a gander at the inactives and begin asking people why they are not in church on Sunday morning and you hear a heap of excuses.  Why it is downright exorbitant of God to expect us to give up our Sunday morning when that is the only time we have to sleep in, do the laundry, weed the garden, play golf, watch TV, do the food shopping, etc...  What kind of God would demand so much from us when He surely knows how valuable our time is?!

Of the total 10,080 minutes available per week, we typically spend about 120 minutes at church (worship and Bible study) or a whopping 1% or more of the total time available to us each week.   As one who does not pay much attention to the clock in worship, I find it humorous but sad that the clock watchers on Sunday morning think that a 75 minute service is bordering on scandalous.  What does God think of us that we are so jealous of the little time we spend together around the Word and Table of the Lord?  What should He think of our insistence that even 1% is too much?

At the very same time, we are quick to excuse habits and activities that take a great deal more than 1% of our time as worthy pursuits.  It takes more than 2 hours to play 18 holes of golf or travel to a movie theater and watch the current flick or even to wash, dry, hang up, and put away the laundry.  But that is not too much time if we want to do it or believe it has to be done.  On the other hand, worship is optional.  It just goes to show you how nearly everything that is wrong is a first commandment issue.  We don't want a god, we want to be THE god.

The big sins are not the sexy ones with all the juicy details or the scandalous ones with all their public shame and humiliation.  Nope, the biggest sins are the first commandment ones.  We reject the Lord not because we prefer another deity but because we want to be the deity.  God is on the clock but we do not time the things that we want to do.  God must face a nervous foot and an obvious glance at the watch but time is suspended when we are doing what we want to do when we want to do it.  No, the big sins have no shocking details of perverted behavior -- only a heart so perverse that it presumes it is a better god than God.  We may not have substituted any popular wannabes for the Lord's place in our lives but even God runs second to me, myself, and I.

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