Something has been missing in my life recently. Now I could load you up with all kinds of excuses...my husband has been incapacitated and is still recovering, one of my children and her family have moved back home and are staying with us while they get things in order. The usual end of the school year business. My "real" job. The work I do with the Youth. Bottom line, while searching to find what is different I have come to realize that I've not been fully present in Worship for several weeks now. Looking back, I can now see that what was wrong was me. I was there to be entertained. In fact, I've become quite lazy! Perhaps I wasn't crazy about a couple of the hymns one Sunday. Another Sunday, someone was sitting in MY seat! Did the Pastor really use different words to the "Great Thanksgiving"? On each of these Sundays, I've entered not with a humble and contrite heart but knowing it just had to be "All about Me" and what I want!
Church is a community of believers. Worship should never be about just what I GET out of the service, but rather also, what I ADD to it. Has the experience been more fulfilling because of my presence? Have I been unselfishly giving of myself? Singing with gusto or at least devotion? Following the verses read in my Bible rather than just listening? Greeting a visitor or spending time with a fellow member I haven't talked to in a while? Truly lifting up to God those whose names have been read during the Prayer Request time?
We should be a gathering of individuals who, through praise and worship, form a whole body.
And, although I shouldn't have to, I must watch that I don't try to be a member of an audience. God is the audience. Going to church isn't like going to the movies. I am not there just to receive the Word that is spoken...God is there to receive our love and praise and HE is the object of our affections. If we believe it to be a "worship service", then we should be as much a part of it as the organ, the Pastor or the special music.
We're supposed to be the givers. And if we give, God will be blessed and we will receive what we need from Him and not the sound system.