© 2018 Bill Murphy
The past few months, an issues of spiritual importance has weighed heavily on my heart. I’ve found myself asking hard questions, and pointing fingers.
Suddenly, I find myself guilty of my own ‘sin.’
This week, our church is having a form of vacation bible school – but this is a one day affair. Judging by the amount of effort being put into it, one would think it was a full week (or 2 weeks) event! The props and decor, which include a life-size, hand painted, cut-out figure of Goliath – are nothing short of fabulous.
My contribution was Jonah’s whale, with a cut-out in the side revealing the (living) character dressed as Jonah – sitting inside.
There was technical difficulty, a mix-up in communications, and I received the construction parameters late, which only left a limited time for construction. Whew… I made it!
Then, late the night before we were to leave the following afternoon for a 6.5 hour trip to Mississippi, I received a call. The tablets of stone, the 10 commandments, were too small! Could I make new ones? I wanted to say no… but I said yes.
My dilemma was… I had to ‘design’ these props, gather and or purchase the supplies, and then construct them – all in the time remaining to arrive in Mississippi at least by midnight the very next night.
I actually did it! I got to work the following morning – but I took a short-cut. I made things more comfortable for myself.
You see… the 10 commandments are a somewhat lengthy read. That would have required quite a bit of lettering on my part. My reasoning was that I didn’t have the time – and that this is for a CHILDREN’S program anyway. I opted out and located kiddie-friendly versions of the 10 commandments. Instead of: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s… mine just said, “Don’t want other’s stuff.” We got to our Mississippi destination by 10:30.
But while on our way, it came to me… guilt. I was guilty of the same thing which I’d been seeing in others!
For months now I’ve come to realize that we’ve come to make corporate worship far too ‘comfortable.’ And this comfort has pushed aside and thoroughly muddied our concepts of respect and reverence for what we once called… The House of God.
Folks my age remember what was called ‘Sunday clothes.’ Today, in order to welcome the weak, the poor, the huddled masses – dressing for church is a thing of the past. What’s good for Monday thru Friday – and even Saturday – is good enough for God!
And dress is only the tip of the iceberg!
But how can I call the kettle black? Didn’t I cut a big corner? Didn’t I save a few minutes (or hours) to make it convenient for myself? Didn’t I put personal comfort and desires above the Holy Laws of God? Yes, I did. I’m guilty as charged!
P.S. I my defense, I still refuse to wear a hat inside and during a church service. There are usually several (male) hatted heads in my laid-back place of worship.