Meaningless Worship

5th Sunday of Epiphany
Scripture: Isaiah 59:1-9 St Matthew 5:13-20

The text for today is a strong and clear example of meaningless worship.

Like many of us today, many Israelites were doing all the right worship things. But they were also doing all kinds of the things that were absolutely the wrong things for worshipers to do. Their worship habits and their lifestyles were completely at odds with one another. They quarreled and brawled and then fasted. God made it quite clear that was not what he desired.

When we gather to worship are we here to please ourselves or to serve and please our Lord? If we are to please our Lord in no uncertain terms, He wants our worship to break the chains of injustice. As a just God, He desires our worship to display justice for all, not just for a loved one or a few close friends. We are to be God’s warriors fighting for just treatment for all His beloved people.

As a warrior for the Lord, we should be actively fighting for the homeless, the outcasts in our midst, provide food and clothes for those in need, helping those suffering who need healthcare and especially for those who don’t know Him as a loving and caring Lord.

The church is said to be a sleeping giant. It is time to awake up to the needs of all God’s children.
So once again I ask, are we here to worship to please and satisfy our needs and desires, or are we awakened to the shallowness of our lack of real concern to the masses in our community, state, nation and the world?

Often the ways we worship falls all to short of God’s desires and love, not just for ourselves, but for all God’s children.

Matthew’s text asks us: Does our praise to God display that we are warriors for His kingdom on earth and a reflection of His Heavenly Kingdom?

Worship is so much more than lifting our voices in song, in prayers or in speaking. There are so many other ways we can worship the Lord.

We can watch the news for an excellent example of those who showed real worship. As an avalanche destroyed a hotel, many were buried alive. There were those who came to search, some using their hands in the snow to search the buildings for survivors. Hearing voices above them a couple huddled together for another 60 hours before they saw the light of day. Not only did they find many alive, but they also found 4 or 6 newborn puppies. They had been without food or drink for several days. Shortly thereafter they found the mother and reunited the pups with her.

This is one example of real worship. Real worship is that we see that the need is there and as we are the hands and feet of God, we put the action in our life.

Gracious Lord, open our hearts and actions to see that real worship in more than praising God with our voices. Real worship is being on the front lines, fighting for God in a multitude of ways.

Let us pray.