THERE is a little question which keeps nagging away at me, keeping me honest in my relationship with God and others, and challenging me in my lifestyle. The question is "WHY?". Why do we come to church? What are we meant to be achieving as God's people? Why am I a christian? What difference is it supposed to make in my life and in the lives of others? This is an important question to ask ourselves. If we do not know why we are here, then we certainly won't fulfil the purpose for being here.
It is easy to fall into routine and habit. What was once a vital aspect of our life and our behaviour now stands as a testimony to the past, a mere shadow of what it could be, and a poor reflection of where we once were. All of us do it - going places, doing things, simply because we have done it so often. The freshness of it all has long past, and there is a staleness in the air. It reminds somewhat of the Pharisaic lifestyle understood by the Gospel writers - holding to a form of religion which rested on habit, and which killed any sense of life and spontaneity. We too can - and often do - reflect this in our worship, in our service. WHY?
Routine and habit can overtake us as individuals and as a church. Someone once talked of "Little Bo Peep" churches: "Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep, and doesn't know where to find them, Just leave them alone and they'll come home, dragging their tails behind them." The thinking is that we don't need to do anything - people will just come to us, and so a church can get stuck into a routine and lose its mission and hence its meaning for being.
We need to keep asking ourselves "WHY?" and then evaluate what we are doing as a result of the answer to that question. God wants us to reflect His life in our worship and our ministry, and to maintain vitality.
December 4, 1994
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