Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 7, 1960

More Reverence In Worship

Warren Rainwater, Pensacola, Florida

Surely there is a need for proper reverence to God at anytime but never more so than at the worship hour. When the saints meet together to "break bread" and to engage in worship to God, things must be arranged to insure the greatest degree of purity of thought and attitude. If there is ever a time when we need to be one, it is then. For our worship to be acceptable to God, we need to lift up our praises to the Almighty with "one accord". More teaching would be in order along that line. We need to stress the importance of reverence to young and old again and again.

More reverence can be had by a better understanding of God's Will regarding worship. Is the Sunday morning worship hour just a place to go to keep peace in the family? Is it a place to "grab an extra hour's nap"? What does it mean to come together with the saints to commune with God and to do His Will? Certainly if we appreciate the services as we ought, then it will be the most enjoyable part of the week. It will give us more strength for the days ahead. Let us study to have a proper understanding of worship and what it means to a Christian. More respect for God will be the result.

More reverence in worship can be had by making advanced preparation. Enough time should be allowed in order to make sure we have plenty of time to get the family ready to get to services without a "knock-downdrag-out-battle". This will help us to get in the proper frame of mind to worship acceptably. Plans should be made to give to the Lord, the Lord's day. If we plan such activities that will lead us away from the services of the church, it is possible that they will be on the mind instead of God. I wonder how many people come to church and think most of the time about the fishing party they are going to attend just as soon as the long winded preacher can get it over with? We need to plan to give the Sundays to God.

I am certain more reverence can be had if the things that go on in the services are in harmony with the Word. One thing that has come to my attention in the last few years is the disregard for the reason of the coming together. Some have come to the conclusion that it is a gathering designed to "bring the congregation up-to-date on all the previous happenings of the past week". Such announcements as baby showers, parties, receptions, and the like are made by someone able to "dress it up" in order to make it go over with the visitors. Surely nothing could be more out of place than making such announcements at a time when we should be "setting our affections on things above". It is out of place to make any kind of announcement at the worship service that is not germane to the reason for the gathering. People are not able to turn their minds on and off like a water faucet; and to inject something into the service that has nothing to do with the purpose of the assembly may be the reason for causing someone to worship in vain. Think on these things.

More reverence can be had when we realize the true reason for gathering together. I remember attending services at one of our "wide awake" churches and the local preacher used several minutes of the time to brag on the accomplishments of the visiting preacher. He was one of the greatest in the brotherhood, etc., etc. I had never heard the brother preach and by then I was beginning to yearn for the preaching to start. I was through with the warmup, I wanted to hear the main speaker. After being "properly" (?) introduced, the speaker ascended the steps to the pulpit with no little grace and for the next few minutes the tables were turned. The local preacher was then "the greatest". I am forced to admit that by then I was so interested in these "giants in the faith" that I was about to forget the real purpose of the assembly. Then I wondered if others were being led to exalt the man or God or were they being taken in by "fair speeches" like I was taken in. I felt ashamed of myself. The speaker got up and preached a good sermon in the main but it fell far short of my expectations. Why? Perhaps because I had been led to look for the actions of the preacher and when it became evident that he couldn't produce as the other preacher had said he could, it brought a disappointment to me. I had been led to the man instead of to the message. Surely, this kind of thing will not lead to more reverence to God but to more exalting of man. We need to re-examine our services to see if we and making them as God wants them to be. More of what God wants and less of man's accomplishments will be in order in most services.