When young children can lead us

 Followers of the one true God are told repeatedly in the Bible to worship him in the sanctuary. In the Old Testament, that was a physical place where the priests served and the people of God came to offer sacrifices and worship. After the cross, where Jesus made the perfect sacrifice, necessary and efficient for the forgiveness of all who come to him by faith, the sanctuary became the human heart. Paul asked the church at Corinth, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple (sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit who is in you?” That means that worship is no longer a weekly event or a service or an isolated act. Worship is a way of life. In fact, for the believer, to live is to worship God. Paul said, “To live is Christ and to die is gain” (more Christ).
That means that we worship God everywhere, including when we gather as believers in the church building. Sunday morning should be the culmination of a week of worship. The explosive joy of the Sunday morning worship experience will reflect the daily celebration of the people of God that cannot be contained in quiet contemplation when they gather in the same room, often called “the sanctuary.” Boring? Only if the leaders are dulled in their own walk with Christ or if the people are there for ritual rather than relationship. Dry? Only if the preacher’s soul and Bible are dusty. Or if the hearts of the people are cracked, unable to hold the pure water of God’s Word because they have lived that week consumed with self, pursuing their own pleasures, ignoring the daily promptings of the God who loves them and bought them with a price. As I am writing this column, an old friend stopped by my table at Starbucks to talk about something the Lord has been teaching him about worship. “My wife has read a book recently about addictions,” he said. “And on the back cover it says, ‘addiction is a worship disorder.’” That’s it. We were created to worship God, and he alone can fill our heart and soul and satisfy us.
Even the very young, whose lives are being transformed by the grace of God, understand the wealth of worship with the followers of Jesus. I got this email from a woman in our church whose son attended a local vacation Bible school, and on the way home one night, he shared the following story:
Mom, tonight my teacher was teaching us about the tabernacle and the high priest, and was talking about the sanctuary of the church and the pastor kind of being the same idea. Well, some of the kids in my class popped up saying things like, ‘I don’t like the sanctuary!’ ‘Yeah, me neither, I don’t like big church; it’s so boring in the sanctuary!’ My teacher said, ‘Well, that’s why you have kids’ church, but when you’re an adult you’ll like big church.’ So I raised my hand, and when the teacher called on me I said, ‘My friend Noah here (I pointed to Noah and he smiled and waved) heard our pastor, Pastor Mark, say a few weeks ago that it was ungodly to not read your Bible, and he’s been reading it every day since! And then his dad, Mr. Jeremy, shared that in church this week, and I heard that, and I’ve been reading my Bible every day since. So kids can learn things from the pastor in church, too.” Young children can lead us, especially when they see worship through God’s eyes.

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