Today’s readings.. (1 Kings 7), (Jeremiah 33), (Mark 7)

   How do we worship?  What is worship?  Unless we have a heartfelt awe of God there will be fundamental flaws in our worship.     Our first aim must be to make sure we are approaching God and His Son in the way he desires.  Our second aim should be to try to guide others to worship God in the way and spirit he is looking for – as the scriptures indicate in many places.
    Our thoughts on this were prompted by our reading today in Mark ch. 7.  Jesus, is dismayed at the type of worship he saw and bluntly states that what was happening was ”in vain.” How tragic that any worship is in vain.  One cannot totally blame the atheist and agnostic for turning their back on Christianity.
   The major reason why we read the Bible every day is to get a right understanding of what God and his Son Jesus, require of us: we learn how they should be served and worshipped – it must be in a spirit of true humility. 
   In today’s chapter Jesus calls the Pharisees and Scribes “hypocrites”[v.6], that is, people who put on a false front.  He quotes Isaiah to them, saying he prophesied about them, “This people honours me with their lips, but their heart is far from me, in vain do they worship me; teaching as doctrine the commandments of men.”[v.7]
   How much worship today is pleasing to God?  Only God knows, but the above quotation shows there are two aspects we must get right.  Our attitude of heart, for worship is not just a ritual, it must genuinely reflect the desires we feel in our heart, desires which spring from our awe of God and our own sense of unworthiness.  We cannot “earn” salvation by anything we do. Secondly that the things we believe and teach are true to God’s word. 
   Words we read a week ago in the last chapter of Romans spring to mind, “watch for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine you have been taught; avoid them.  For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites …” [v.17,18]  How human appetites have been poorly fed over the Centuries!! Let us make sure our appetite is fed every day by the word of God, for his word will develop in us, if we are reading it in the right spirit, a true humility – and our worship will not be in vain..