Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Call to Worship: The Elephant in the Sanctuary

Below are notes from the Call to Worship last Sunday (4/29) morning:

Did you read the article in the Daily Progress this morning? It was titled, "Henrico church service features live elephant." The article tells about a church outside Richmond that is bringing in a 34 year old elephant named Minnie to its services this morning.
The article (edited) begins:

A Henrico County church is bringing in a real heavyweight for its Sunday service.
The featured guest is so big—7,000 pounds—that the church is setting up chairs outside. Besides, an elephant it sure to attract a crowd.

"It’s literally traffic-stopping worship," said the Rev. Jim L., pastor of the (church) near Short Pump….

He said the elephant will help illustrate the children’s message: "How big is your God?"
The church is investing $20,000 in the service which includes the cost of leasing the elephant, rentals, supplies, and advertising….

The chairman of the Church Council is quoted as saying:

"The vast majority of people who are in our church have come there as the result of this type of outreach…. When you’re talking about evangelism and bringing people to church, you need something that grabs their attention… An elephant will do that."

Is this what is has come down to? We have to have an elephant to get people come to worship? Friends, something is deeply wrong with this picture. We do not come here to see an elephant. We do not come to worship to be entertained. We do not come to worship because it has a wiz-bang music program, or a good children’s ministry, or to hear an eloquent speaker.

We come here to meet with our God who has revealed himself in Jesus Christ.

When the temple was dedicated in Jerusalem, Solomon prayed: "But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built!" (1 Kings 8:27).

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

(Evangel article, 5/1/07)

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