Many churches have embraced informality as the primary adjective of corporate worship; some give off the vibe that spontaneity is the only fruit of the Spirit. This is like trying to stay warm in February using a box of poppers leftover from the July 4th. But in our pursuit to have a well-ordered service of praise to our Father, we should know that there is a yawning pothole which has broken the axle of many before us.
That pothole is to think that as long as we get the outside of the dish clean, then the inside of it doesn’t matter. The liturgical order which our service follows is derived from Scripture, and is thick with meaning. It’s hard work. And because of that, it is all the more likely that we will pat ourselves on the back if we stick the landing.
It’s no contradiction to say that the God who gave the sacraments also hates them. God hates the sacraments when all the stuff is tidily arranged, but the hearts receiving them are a disordered clutter of dead faith. God doesn’t want a table full of bread and wine and hearts empty of joy in Christ. Will God be pleased to find all the right elements present, but true repentance nowhere to be found? A table with a spotless and perfectly starched white tablecloth surrounded by people clothed in the tattered rags of self-righteousness arouses God’s wrath.
As Jesus insisted, you must be born again. You must take this meal in faith. Your salvation isn’t because you sang all the right notes, stood at the right time, or can precisely outline the doctrine of the real spiritual presence. No. You are saved because the Spirit gave you a new heart to treasure in this simple sign of bread and wine the body and blood of Christ which was given for you.
So come in faith and welcome to Jesus…