Monday, 21 September 2015

Making our worship count


For some unknown reasons, Sundays like  today usually depict holiness, tranquil lity and godliness unobtainable or uncommon with other days of the week. Perhaps, because of its sacredness as the 7th day of the week which God declared a day of rest after 6days of work to allow His children spend quality time with Him in worship. Thus, all commercial and economic activities as well as tedious house chores are suspended for worship on Sundays. 

In many households, Sunday mornings are days where chaos is experienced more than other days. While some may not agree to this, others certainly will concur that Sunday morning experiences can be likened to a tug of war among and between family members.
This is because certain preparations which should have been done prior to Sunday are usually done on Sunday morning and in the heat of preparation for service. These factors include: un-ironed clothes, missing socks, shoes and belts; cleaning the car, fixing meals and etc. For women, the issue on Sunday morning is either their husband’s inability to bath and dress the kids while they fix the meal; blankness on the choice of cloth and accompanying accessories to use, inability to tie the canopy (bukid) and other challenges and for the men, their wives inability to be fast, smart and sharp with the chores is often the main problem; followed by her assumed carelessness in keeping the kids’ clothing which results in the unending search for junior’s shoes, pant and shirt every Sunday morning. 
In homes where grown-up children exists, aggressions are often transferred on older children when the argument on ‘why this?’ gets tense. And sometimes too, when a child is called to assist the father in cleaning the car, the mother comes out fuming at the ‘Oga’ peacefully seated behind his newspaper. The situation is further compounded in a ‘face-me-I-face-you’ compound where the long queue for the bathroom and toilet is close to that seen in filling stations on a bad day.  In cases like this, it becomes impossible to get away with the swelling anger accompanying these ‘temptations’ without verbally abusing and hurting someone’s emotions and as such, getting hurt as well on a Sunday morning. These antecedents are customary of many smiling and bony faces we see in church every Sunday. Thus, we skip breakfast to meet-up with time and severally leave our houses littered, clothe-filled and sometimes, unswept in our bid to get to church early enough.

But however bad things get when we leave our houses on Sunday morning, it does get better when we return from service. The tension is calmed by the lunch on the table and maybe, some minutes rest. Thereafter, the disorganised house begins to take the shape of a normal human habitat with members of the family smiling and relating properly again. 

While this may not be the case in some homes, several homes are characteristic of the Sunday tussle explained above and this to a large extent, results in carrying a vexed, unsettled and biased mind to church. It also accounts for the increasing rate of people’s inability to conform or abide with what is preached every Sunday. Without any iota of uncertainty, many children, husbands and wives often lost the ‘spirit’ to worship God on Sunday after being provoked at home, and but for what may come out of it, they would really have preferred staying back than going to the temple with a spoiled mind. As such, they grudgingly become passive partakers of the day’s worship activities and go home even worse than they entered the church’s premises.  

For those who care to listen, the words of admonition for the day is seen as rubbish, the messenger doing the delivery is not regarded especially if such is the cause of their present mental disposition. Everything for that day to them, is just out of place and those who do not care at all simply become a stumbling block to others either by loitering, sleeping or chatting away their grievances.

Many Sunday worshipers are victims of this ill and it tells to a large extent how much of vain worship we give to God. Our worship as Christians in the church happens to be collective and so everyone is expected to have his/her heart aligned and right with God. If we are to worship God in spirit and in truth as the Bible commands, our hearts and minds must be prepared for the ‘meeting’ so that we can as well accrue the blessings accompanying this holy gathering. 

Apart from the mood brought forward from home, many Christians allow themselves to be used as tools by the devil to distract attention during service. From the display of mannerisms such as talking, giggling and laughing to sleeping, loitering in and out to snap photographs and seeking to be seen, many a Christian end up creating a bad impression of themselves in the minds of others. 

Another very bad addiction which has crawled into the church is that of ‘pinging’, ‘tweeting’, ‘facebooking’ and all forms of online interactions which people now engage in at the expense of soul-saving messages from the pulpit. It is no longer strange to see a number of youths heads down during service doing nothing but chatting endlessly with careless abandon and without regard for the God they claim to have come to worship. While some of them would claim to be making use of their mobile Bibles, others do not care a dime if there lie any adverse effect of this new-found hobby of church-chatting. They go home at the end of the day without learning a lesson or two from the day’s message. 

Still among the things people do in service is the attitude of paying deaf ears to ushers’ directives, engaging in romantic discussions and developing itching ears for every message. Before going further, it is important to state that many so-called Christians have grown above the tenets of the scriptures and cannot take the message of the gospel as infallible. They claim to be more learned, more enlightened and more sophisticated than the Bible which to them is outdated. They are the ones who feel too big to obey ushers and other instructions given by the church leadership. They complain and grunt about the time spent in church and sometimes call it a day when they can no longer bear it. Another characteristic of these big boys and girls is that they rarely come with their Bibles, Hymn Books and writing materials to church. Rather, they are seen with irrelevant materials like newspaper, magazines or novels which they read when the message from the pulpit is ‘meaningless’. They are the ones who easily assume that a mind-piercing message was arranged by the minister to unveil their ugliness and this often warrants in their leaving the worship hall only to return well after the message has been rounded-off or even staying away from service completely. 

These grudges and ill manners brought into the church on worship days are detrimental to the spiritual growth and revival of the soul. When Christians gather to worship, they should come with profound respect and good behaviour for God their creator, the church leadership as well as other members. In our words and conducts, we must conduct ourselves properly and maturely. 

The etiquette of good manners which is obtainable in our offices also applies in the church. As such, all amount of reference and utmost respect must be ascribed to the convener of our ‘meetings’. Our hearts must be in tune with the message and activities of the day else, we lost out of the day’s blessings.
To make our worship count, we must have our affections, worries, ego, pride and grievances nailed to the cross or dropped at home if we must go home blessed, fulfilled and satisfied. Our hearts must be broken and contrite as David described before our worship can count. Only then, can God accept our worship. Happy Sunday!

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