Worship vs. Office Birthday Party

“… this people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote…” (Isaiah 29:13)

Have you worked in a company that holds office birthday parties? Often it’s such a meaningless exercise. The admin assistant buys a cake, passes out a birthday card around the group wherein each person wrote some meaninglessly or even wryly congratulatory words on the card, calls a “suprise” meeting to draw the birthday person out and everyone gathers around to eat the cake. But during the “birthday party,” all everyone talks about is “oh, this cake is good, where did you buy it?” or some meaningless chatter. At best, it’s an excuse to take an extended break from work. It has nothing to do with honoring the birthday person or attributing worth to the birthday person for his/her existence.

One time I even participated in an office birthday party without the birthday person present… the admin assistant arranged everything, called the special meeting, only to realize the birthday person was missing the whole day. And we just had the cake all by ourselves!

Man-centered worship is like an office birthday party. We do a lot of things that feign our praise to God but all we said were just empty words. We made good-sounding and fun and even exciting or meditative music but that only amused ourselves and did not honor God. We made everything look nice but all we did was eat our own good cake and praise our own good cake (like: “today the music was nice!” or “I like the songs today!” or “your $3000 bass sounds real good! Where did you buy it?”). If we look into our hearts, we could have done all that without God’s presence, and that’s the sadest thing.

This Christmas, don’t throw an office birthday party for Jesus. The perfect birthday gift, though, is to give Him your heart.

Any other comparisons can you make about “Worship vs. Office Birthday Party”?

7 thoughts on “Worship vs. Office Birthday Party

  1. Thanks for drawing an analogy between office b-day parties and man-centered worship. I have similar experiences with our b-day parties at our department.

    Lately, my co-workers have gotten tired of the same cake and punch routine that they plan to revamp the whole thing. There is also discussion of changing it from monthly to quarterly so that we order more food or even eat out.

    Similarily, I heard a comment from a churchmate about how some of the things in worship service, such as a moment of silence during prayer and praise songs, have become routine and numbing. He suggested that those should only be done once in a while to maintain their “effects” on people, and that everyone would welcome the idea of getting out 5 minutes earlier anyway.

    It’s unfortunate some people constantly like to try new things or change things simply to satisfy their own needs rather than for the right reason.

  2. Hmmm… “everyone would welcome the idea of getting out 5 minutes earlier” ??!? What are they in such a hurry to get out of and what are they in such a hurry to get into?

  3. They are not in a hurry to get out. I think he meant no one would mind getting out earlier. The scary thing is this comment came from someone who holds a prominent position in church.

  4. Just browsing…nice site, btw.  Dunno if you watch “The Office” at all, but there was an ep awhile back where the admin organized an absolutely awful birthday party for one of their employees.  It’s not the appearance of the gesture, but the intentions/heart behind it that counts. 

  5. I think you are right to make a comparison between worship and office b-day parties (just to be lazy …let’s call it OBP). In fact, I would see that they are analogical to each other. “God” is not entirely absent in the OBP, but, of course, God is not the God of the Bible. Instead, the god to be worship in the OBP is a thin religion of the corporation thinking the ritual of a party can really bring unity and dedication to the company. The administration being the priests and priestesses of the church-coporation will want to use OBP to unite the populace thinking that such external ritual can bring a real force to pull everyone together……OBP is nothing but a creation of borrowed capital from the revealed truth in the Scripture.

  6. that’s a great way of putting it.  it’s so easy to be “happy with ourselves” after a “successful worships”.  That’s why we need to ask ourselves each time whether we were really depending on Him and letting His spirit leading us, and whether it’s possible to pull off the same thing without His guidance.

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