Well, that’s a downer. The wall had been built agains all odds. There was a revival among the Jews, hearts once again turned toward God. People were determined to obey the Word of the Lord. And a joyful ceremony was held to dedicate the completed wall that so many had worked so hard on.
The enemy defeated! The wall restored! Sins forgiven! Choirs singing! People worshiping God together. Now that’s a happy ending.
Then there is chapter 13. Things aren’t always as they appear to be. The emotional worship experience didn’t translate into real life obedience.
The Bible demonstrates that our emotions are engaged in worship. We see accounts of people dancing in the streets, shouting praise, singing songs. We also see people grieved over sin, tearing their clothes, falling on their faces, and wailing as they worship.
We don’t turn off our emotions when we worship. But if experiencing worship is your goal, if going to church to get your weekly shot in the arm is your motivation, stay home.
First of all, worship is about God. It’s not about you. But secondly, we need to be reminded that those worship services end, and the daily grind begins. That worship service is meant for us to stop, focus on God, set aside self and care and heartache, and give what is due our Holy God. Then we continue our worship as we obey Him in the day to day.
It’s Christmas morning. I pray you and your family will be blessed as you celebrate Jesus’ birth. And I hope you’ll take time to set aside the busy-ness of the day, the laughter, and presents, and worship that baby who grew to be the man who died for you.
And may your worship translate into obedience for Jesus’ sake and for His glory.