A Reflection on Authentic Worship Just Before the “Lord’s Day”

A reflection on worship today from my Bible reading during my time of “coffee with the Lord”…

Now I want to say this as kindly… but directly, as possible…  My years of experience in the Lord’s work have taught me that some of those who protest and criticize others most loudly about sincere, exuberant, and even extravagant worship are often those whose hearts are not right toward God (and some even seek to cover hidden sins with their loud protestations)!  Enough said…

Here is just one passage that illustrates my point…

“Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.  So they gave a dinner for him there.  Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table.  Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.  But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, ‘Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii [about a year’s wages!]  and given to the poor?’  He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.  Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial.  For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.’” (from John 12:1–8 ESV)

A number of years ago, when I was involved in pastoral ministry, I preached a message I entitled “Are You Offended by Extravagant Worship?” based upon this passage.  After having preached the message, a wonderful Christian lady gave me a gift to remember that message by that I will always treasure… an “alabaster bottle of sweet perfume.” (See the pic… I still have it and treasure it!)  Listen… I never want to be in the camp of those who would use worship as a way of self-promotion or attention-getting personal display… On the other hand, I NEVER WANT TO BE AMONG THOSE WHO ARE CRITICAL OF AUTHENTIC, SINCERE WORSHIP!  In fact, I want passages like Psalm 150 to guide the worship I embrace (you just might want to read it)!

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