Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 18, 2018

Why did you come here today?

By Rev. Jeff McPheron, Trenton and Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church | Aug 03, 2018

If your worship leader asked that question, and then waited, what might be your reply? Some come to be in familiar surroundings. The building arrangement, the windows, the feel, the sounds, the smells, the activity, a favorite seat.

Some come to be among familiar people. Friends who have shared good times and hard times. Friends who listen. Friends who teach. Friends who need help. Old friends. New friends. Some come to be a part of the order of events. They take comfort in the routine. They are glad when it begins, and glad when it ends.

Some come because they should (they are right). Some come because it may be good for business. Some come looking for answers, without always being able or willing to give voice to the questions. For some, being present is a well-practiced habit.

So far, we have described personal reasons to be in worship, and they are important. We do not practice faith in a vacuum. We always practice faith in a community. We need, we share, and we support each other. But if we look only at the community, then we miss the main reason to be in worship. And the main reason has nothing to do with where we are, whom we are with, or what we are doing together.

The main reason to be in worship is to worship. It is good for each person to enjoy some personal benefits from worship, but the ultimate reason to be in worship is to honor God by acknowledging with praise and thanksgiving who God is and remembering what God has done, for the world, and for me.

Worship is not about us. Worship is about God. Even if we do not enjoy worship, because of our faith, we ought to be in worship. We ought not allow any peripheral negative experience or memory to keep us from worship. At its core, worship is a selfless expression of adoration. Fortunately, God gives worshippers a gift of allowing them to begin to like some parts of worship.

In John 6:26-27, Jesus challenged his hearers not to settle for ordinary things, but to pursue eternal things, and to pursue them because of their everlasting value. God wants to give the deepest desire of your heart.

Are you preparing to offer worship this weekend — and to enjoy God’s presence in community? If not, why not try again?

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