“Few things are needed—indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better [time with me]. This will not be taken from her.” (Luke 10:42)
Only one thing is needed to fill the pews, bring people to their knees, cause hands to be raised, and voices to sing with praise. Will we choose what is best?
Recently I participated in a survey from our UMC church that asked, “Why do you attend Worship?” I concluded my remarks by commenting on how every church runs the risk of devolving into the Church in Ephesus.
“I know your deeds,” Jesus says. “Your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
When we love Jesus we cannot help but love others for we are filled with His Spirit and His Spirit is love. But when we love others before Jesus, we will end up loving neither others or Jesus.
Worship is a date with our Groom—or should be. Strangers can always tell when a couple is in love. They hold hands, compliment one another, discard distractions and fix their attention on the other. When we are in the early stages of love we will travel long distances to be with the one we love.
If church attendance is down, enthusiasm lacking, fall in love with Jesus, again—or for the first time—and your church will need to rent or build a larger venue to hold all who wish to celebrate the union of Christ with His Bride.
“O, Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands, we at (YOUR CHURCH) have sinned and done wrong. We have turned away from your commands and laws. We are covered with shame because we have sinned against you. We are scattered because of our unfaithfulness to you. All have transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you.
“All this distancing, our displacement, has come upon us, yet we have not sought your favor by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth. You, O Lord, are righteous in everything you do, yet we have not obeyed you. O Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath.
“Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servants. For your sake, O Lord, look with favor on your empty sanctuary. Give ear, O God, and hear. Open your eyes and see the despair and desolation of your people who bear the name of Christ. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay because your people bear your Name.” (Daniel 9:4-19)
If any of this resonates with your spirit, if you love Christ and wish to see (YOUR CHURCH) reflect his love and light into a world of darkness, I invite you to pray that all who call (YOUR CHURCH) home, will fall in love with Jesus again. When we align our will with His, mountains move, as do the hearts of others.