Deuteronomy 64 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the door-frames of your houses and on your gates. 10 When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you— a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant— then when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
Our Life Group wrestled last night with the issue of what motivates our worship. The conversation began in a peculiar place – binge drinking – and what makes club owners worship profit so much that they will allow all women in free to entice the men in, or charge an entrance price after which all drinks are free or play other games to ensure people come in and drink themselves stupid. We talked with the Street Pastor in our group about the kind of issues they encounter at 4am.
We reflected on the dangers of taking things out of context, including Bible texts and read from Steve Chalke and Alan Mann’s book Different Eyes: the Art of Living Beautifully in which he quotes an episode of The West Wing where President Jed Bartlett tackles a radio show host with a habit of decrying homosexuality with a Bible verse from Leviticus. The YouTube clip is .
We then recognised our own fixed boundaries – things that “they do” in a neighbouring church; the things which make them different and sadly so often make us see them as wrong. We recognised that our unwillingness to see God in other people’s worship makes it hard for God to see true worship in ours.
Finally, we tried to imagine living as people who always remember that our worship should reflect thankfulness because God in Christ has given us a hope and a future.