In a few hours time I am flying back from the UK, having been over here visiting family. When I was in Exeter yesterday on my way to the hospital, I passed by the shops. All kinds of products in shops crying out “buy me!”
Above are just a few. Including a watch in the middle of the bottom right picture – a mere 10,200 euros or so to purchase! A bit cheap I think !!!
Don’t worry, there is not a rant coming about consumerism (though it is good to ask – are we getting caught up in the lure of buying stuff? do we consider ethical issues with what we purchase?)
Much of what we have of course, we can so easily take for granted. The plight of those caught up in floods in South Asia and Houston for instance show how quickly the ‘norm’ can be lost. (Let’s keep praying for those impacted)
In our lives what do we value? What has worth? How do we express this?
For instance, if we say we value our partner, children, parents, nephews, nieces, other family members, friends, colleagues or fellow students – have we let them know recently? How can we express worth in a meaningful way? If we say others have value in our lives, do our agendas reflect this?
There is a saying that goes round – ‘no one gets to the end of their life and says I wish I had spent more time at the office’
Why not pray and think about how to express your love and valuing of others in fresh ways.
Besides people, I also value music, reading, visiting new places, walking, cycling (though far from speedy), being out in the countryside, seeing a good movie…
How about you? If we say things have value, then how can we build these into our lives in a healthy way?
On Sunday 17th, in the ICL gathering, I am going to speak about ‘worship without walls’ based around a story recorded in John’s Gospel (John 4:1-26). Jesus breaks down all kinds of racial/societal ‘walls’ as he connects with a Samaritan woman at a well. He reaches after the real her on the inside, amid the externals of a messy string of relationships that she has had. He sees past the religious arguments and smoke screens that she puts up.
At one stage, he says to her,
‘a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks’ (4:23)
The English word ‘worship’ comes from an older word – effectively ‘worthship’. The Hebrew/Greek words that get translated as ‘worship’ in English translations of the Bible, are more varied and very rich. The combination points to worship as something active, not passive, something that involves the whole person and costs something.
True worship is an active part of our lives – in fact according to Romans 12:2, it is the giving of our lives as ‘living sacrifices’ (so don’t just think Sundays or corporate songs and prayers when you hear the word ‘worship’)
True worship to have worth, has a cost. What does that mean for you and me?
True worship is ‘in the Spirit’. The Holy Spirit is given to those who put their trust in Jesus Christ. We are not called to go through the motions of worship but to draw on the ‘spring of water welling up to eternal life’ (John 4:14)
True worship is ‘in truth’. Truth about who God is as ultimately revealed through Jesus Christ. Truth about who we are, our identity in Christ and the call for us to offer our lives up to Him.
According to Jesus, Father God seeks true worshippers. Not because He has some kind of need or inadequacy but so that people whom He loves (check out John 3:16, 1 John 3:1) might know Him – not just know about Him!
Father God puts such worth on this, it took Christ to the cross. Why? So that we might be forgiven and reconciled to God. That is amazing grace. It was costly but the Lord considered it worth it.
So, for us when it comes to our lives:
Worship – what worth does it have?