Organic Worship

Believing as I do that obedience to God's 10 Commandments is a love response to our free salvation and not a "means to an end", this weekend I checked back at Exodus 20 for a Refresher Course to see how much I could remember. And kept reading. And found this:

"Instead, make an altar out of the natural stones of the earth... When you build an altar, don't build it out of cut stones. If you use any tool, or put forth any human effort to make it acceptable, it will lose its meaning and be unfit for worship. And don't make a high altar with lots of steps because I don't want others to see your nakedness as you go up."
(vs 24-26)

Which, of course, got me thinking about how we do church nowadays.

How much is natural worship to God, straight from the earthy creation of our hearts, and how much is hewn stone, a carefully-chiselled performance to fit together and look good to man? How often do we elevate the worship leaders on a high stage (with many steps - literal and figurative - to get up there), only to find their "nakedness", to have their pride or just-for-show leadership exposed? What about our ambience-correct buildings, comfortable pews, overhead projections?

What can we do to change this back to the way God intended us to worship? Can we throw down those carefully-squared alters we've created and build our worship once again from the ground up, using what God has naturally given us? Can we cut the human effort to perform, to make things go smoothly, to follow our own self-invented patterns, and return to our heart worshipping God without frills and fanfare? Can we not grow so attached to the altars we've built that we either don't want to move on with the journey, or try lug them along in our backpacks?

Our "Christian culture" of church and how worship is "done" is very deeply ingrained, in 2000 (or maybe even 6000) year's worth of generations. Perhaps we have completely lost sight of how it's supposed to be.

Now and then we catch a whiff of the sweet scent of true worship and long for more. But all our efforts lead to frustration, to a facade, and drive us further from God.