So said the marquee of a church I pass on my way to work... It is a very interesting sign and very appealing. Life is hard. Too hard. We should get a pass somewhere. Why not Church? We work hard at work and we work hard at home and we work hard at our play... why not play at worship? Faith and religion should not be another demand upon us but a pass, a freebie. If you go to Church on Sunday morning and it is a drag or it requires you to do something, maybe you need to find a new one. If you don't go to Church on Sunday morning, why not try one that does not ask much of anything from you except to get up, stop by Starbucks, park and walk in. Why, we use the abridged version of Scripture -- you won't hear anything about cross bearing here. Faith without works is the norm here and it is faith that is easy, reasonable, and does not ask you to stretch your imagination. We worship a free and easy God in a free and easy way. Try it. You'll like it. If not, you can always go back to that drab downer of a Church you attended before or skip it all and head back home to spend your Sunday morning in bed (or on the golf course -- your choice). So what do you have to lose? Really?
What do you have to gain? Really?
Or do you think I am being too harsh? Really?
IDK, Pastor, seems to me that attending Divine Service to receive the blessings of Word and Sacrament doesn't sound like grueling work. (The key word being "receive") Now, knowing whether I have sung heartily enough, had enough of an emotional experience during service, that sounds pretty demanding. How much is enough to be deemed "effective worship", KWIM. ;p
Starbucks? I got a chuckle out of that. In some cases its already in the church, or is the 'church.' Recieving God's grace and gifts should be easy but it isn't. It involves hearing things about ourselves that we night not like, and admitting not only that we've done wrong, but that we are wrong. When you've been told most of your life to 'follow your heart' its tough to hear that your heart is the problem. It's hard for people who've been told they're okay just the way they are to discover God loves them where they're at, but He's not going to leave them where you're at. It's hard to let go of our idols for fear we'll have nothing left of who we are if we do. In relative terms worship is hard for people who were whelped in a culture of lowered expectations. We're expected to gather with people we don't know, and maybe aren't a bit like us, we're expected to do what someone else is telling us do, (and may not understand) we're asked to show reverence to the one true God, when what we really want is to have reverence shown to us. And as you mentioned, it is a hard thing to find out that Christ calls us to pick up our cross and follow Hin, not self actualize. It's hard to worship God if we're not allowed to (re) create him in our image, and make him say and do what we want.
Worship is a two way street. God
gives to us: Absolution, the Word,
the Sacrament, His Benediction.
We give to God: our praise (hymns)
prayers, tithes, and our focus on Him
Post Script to Above:
We also give to God our confession
Given the name of the church I have to wonder if they have a corner on the "real truth." As for the sign, it stinks! I wouldn't come close to setting my foot in the door.
The church on the sign and the sign itself are not real but a computer generated image from sign generator...
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