Ritual worship without a life of service and obedience is empty. You see, what we do on Sunday mornings is a container and support meant to inform and inspire you to live a life of charity. So obey the Lord’s commandments and serve the good in the people around you, knowing that when you do these things you are worshipping the Lord with your life!
The Church is a spiritual community. It is not just something you attend, use, support or interact with, but something you become. Be the church by worshipping the Lord and serving humanity.
Listen to part 1 of Be the Church!, “Worship the Lord”:
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Here are the readings from “Worship the Lord”:
“With what shall I come before the LORD,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
While Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him, so he went in and reclined at table. The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner.
And the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you.
“But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.”
New Jerusalem 123-124
Many people believe that a spiritual life, a life which leads to heaven, consists in piety, keeping a holy external appearance and renouncing the world. But piety without charity, and a holy external without a holy internal, and the renunciation of the world without living like this in the world do not make up a spiritual life. What do make it up are piety inspired by charity, a holy external inspired by a holy internal, and the renunciation of the world combined with living like this in the world.
Piety is thinking and speaking piously, giving a lot of time to prayer, also behaving humbly, going regularly to church and listening devoutly to sermons there, frequently each year attending the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, and all the other religious observances prescribed by the church. A life of charity, however, is willing and doing good to the neighbour, acting in every task out of justice and equity, out of good and truth, and likewise in every public office. In short, a life of charity consists in performing services.
In such a life the worship of God takes first place, but in the former one second place. Consequently everyone who separates one from the other, living a life of piety and not a life of charity at the same time, does not worship God. He may think about God, yet not be inspired by God….