“… 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”?