I heard about the story (fictitious, I hope) of a missionary-church planter who had a pet cat. The cat was very restless. In fact, it annoyed people by repeatedly rubbing its body on their legs while they worshipped during their services. So the missionary decided to put an end to it by carrying the cat whenever he would go up the pulpit to preach. Then he would tie that cat to the pulpit. After the benediction he would untie the cat. It was a very practical solution to a very simple problem. Or so he thought.
Well, after a long, fruitful ministry the missionary died. The cat also died (Apparently it used up its nine lives!) However, generations after generations, that church would always have its pastor carry a cat and tie it up in the pulpit. It became a beloved part of their worship tradition! The church even almost had a split when they debated on the breed of the cat to use for the service. But they never thought of removing the cat. For since they have been doing it for a long time, they thought it must be the proper way to worship.
Such example shows the folly of worshipping without really knowing whom you are worshipping. Jesus declared, “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24, NIV) To worship in the spirit means to “do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.” (The Message) In short, it means to be sincere in worship. But sincerity is not enough. The church with the cat in their order of worship was sincere. Yet, they were sincerely wrong. We must also worship in truth. The Contemporary English Version goes like this: “those who worship God must be led by the Spirit to worship him according to the truth.” Everything we do must be according to the Word of God, not according to any tradition even if we grew up doing it. For then and only then we can “worship [God] as he really is.” (Good News Bible).
This Sunday morning, January 14, 2007, Rev. Harg Ang, will talk about “A Heart of Worship.” What a fitting topic for us as we look every Sunday into a facet of our mission statement: “Glorify God by Multiplying Biblical, Committed and Loving Followers of Jesus Christ.” His talk will deal with the phrase “Glorify God...”
Brethren, let us learn how to truly worship God!