The Problem of Shrinking Worship

A newspaper article warned about buying meat in large quantities. It reminded consumers that there is a considerable shrinkage in cutting and packaging meat. A person who buys a hundred pound side of beef will not have a hundred pounds when he gets it home and in the freezer.

This leads us to think about the shrinkage in worship. The usual service is about one hour long, but few worship for a full hour. Some arrive late, so that time must be deleted. Those who come on time are distracted by late arrivals and various interruptions. It may take a little time to decide where to sit. And a few feel they must leave before the final prayer. All that must be deducted.

Then there is the time to look around to see who is there and who is not. Time may also be taken to chuckle at a misprint in the bulletin. Some feel they must text on their phones. We must also deduct the time when our minds wander during the sermon, the prayers and communion. We might be surprised to discover how little time we spend in actual worship to God.

A holy man described worship in this way: “To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.”

Worship means, “to feel in the heart.” It renews the spirit as sleep renews the body. We should try hard to take advantage of the time.

– Adapted from an article by David Johnson