We show up in droves, early, so as to get a good seat. We hand over the proscribed portion of our income without thinking; that’s just the way it is. The buzz, the anticipation builds as the band starts up. We stand and sing along. We raise our voices and sing loud. We roar our hearts out. Some of us raise our hands. Most of us yell ourselves hoarse. It is exciting, passionate and joyous. Enraptured, we lose ourselves in the experience. We go home satisfied and fulfilled, and celebrate until the wee small hours of the morning. Some of us will remember this day for years to come.
Sunday morning sidles up like an unwanted bailiff, and we drag our sorry carcases to church. We dribble in late; sometimes because of last night’s celebration, but mostly because we can – this is church, and it’s not like they are going to lock the doors on us. Only about 15% of us tithe; the rest of us can’t afford to. Some of us sing along to the songs, the rest of us just mouth the words. A few of us raise our hands. Many of us are annoyed about some aspect of the music – too loud/too soft/not my style – and we just fold our arms and wonder how soon it will be before we can sit down again. During the sermon we think about what we will have for lunch and jot down our shopping list for this afternoon. The preacher sums up the four key points of his sermon. By the time we leave, we will have forgotten three of them; by tomorrow we will have forgotten the fourth. But that’s ok, as none of them applies to us. After church we meet up with friends, and talk about what a great time we had at last night’s game.
Which one is true worship? You decide.