How to tell if your worship is asleep
Sometimes those who plan our worship are sleepy. The prayers are self centered. Song texts are all focused on personal concerns. The preaching avoids the issues that concerned the prophets. Our services are safe and predictable. The only time we get aroused is over small stuff, such as music styles or carpet color, not the bug stuff, like justice, mercy, and the weightiness of God.
When a church is asleep it enters worship with a forgetfulness about the lostness of the lost and the brokenness of the broken. It loses touch with the fact that we live in 911 world. Even today, the world is in a state of emergency racked with tremendous suffering and pain. As we gather today, one-sixth of the world lives in absolute poverty. Each year nearly 1 million children are sold or forced into the sex traffic trade. This house thousands will die from starvation. Hundreds from malaria, malnutrition, genocide, and HIV/AIDS. Some time ago I read that in the last hour 2,738 people died from starvation, 342 people died from malaria, 76 mothers died from childbirth issues, 9,582 babies died from induced abortion, 8,898 infants and children were abandoned, and 20 Christians were martyred.
Worship should wake us up to the reality of a just and holy God who will judge the world in righteousness. Yet he is also the God who hears the cries of the needy.
- Don Sweeting, excerpted from Waking Up: Worship and Justice in a Messed-Up World, The Gospel Coalition blog.