Obviously, worshiping requires action. We physically get into our car and go to church. We physically fold our hands and pray, we physically sing out loud, we physically put money into the offering, and we physically sit and listen to the sermon. But are our hearts and minds working as well?
When we enter the Lord’s house every Sunday the first words that come out of our Pastor’s mouth is the “call to worship.” We hear God calling us to come and worship Him! When we sit down in church the familiar Bible passage, it quite often reaches our ears and goes no further. Maybe because we haven’t quite settled down and gotten our minds focused yet. Or maybe it’s because we’ve convinced ourselves that it’s the same every Sunday… we’ve heard it once and don’t need to hear it again. As our ears physically hear these words, so must our heart, mind, and soul.
“O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand” (Ps. 95:6-7).
Active worshipers hear the call to worship and obey that call. They receive the votum and salutation, and they sing with their hearts the song of praise! They confess the Apostles Creed, instead of reciting it. They hear and understand the law, seeing how they have broken it the past week and are pricked in their hearts because of their sins. During the congregational prayer, they hear every word of their pastor. The words from his lips enter their mind, and they earnestly pray for the members of their congregation and the mission fields. As the Scripture is read and the sermon is preached, they eagerly hear the Word. They apply it to their heart, and use the knowledge to praise and serve the Lord throughout their life. They give their offerings with a purpose, and can sing the doxology and receive the benediction with a soul that has been fed!
A passive worshiper uses this time to think about the past or coming week. They tire at hearing the same law, and only sing joyful if it’s a “song they like.” They wonder why they never “get anything from the sermon,” and pine for another pastor who will grab their attention more quickly. The seeds that their pastor plants fall upon stony places, and then wither in the sun. They enter the sanctuary expecting to receive, but not interested in giving.
On this Saturday, take thought of the parable of the sower. Take the time to ask the Lord to prepare your heart, soul, and mind into good ground. Enter the house of the Lord, and actively praise and worship him!
“But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirty fold. Who hath hears to hear, let him hear” (Matt. 13: 8-9).