Encounter: Slowly read through Exodus 20:1-5, Daniel 3, Matthew 6:3, 10:38-39, 13:44-46, 22:37-40, Underline words or phrases that make an impression and speak to you about what defines the Dangerous Act of Worship.
How much would you pay to dress in style? Apparently many of us would pay a lot just to look good. An article in The New York Times asked: How about $480, for plain khakis from Michael Bastian? Or $495 for light cotton twill pants from Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen of The Row? Or $595 if they are by Giorgio Armani? Or $780 for ones with elasticized cuffs from Bottega Veneta? Or is $350, as Thom Browne charges for chinos, the right price?
Similarly, The Wall Street Journal reported (in 2010, prices have gone up since then) that a pair of True Religions Super T jeans, identifiable by their oversized white stitching, cost around $50 a pair to make, were sold wholesale at $152, and retailed for $335. And how much extra do we pay for those holes:)One brand consulting expert noted, "The cost of creating those things has nothing to do with the price. It is all about who else is wearing them, who designed them and who is selling them."
Christian author Steve Taylor concludes:
[At this point] designer labels easily become contemporary idols, if by idol we mean something that encourages extravagant devotion. The prestige given to certain brands is out of all proportion to their usefulness and actual material value …. Very often the reason people opt for designer labels is to communicate a message of privilege to other people; "Look at me. Not only do I have taste but I have a lot of money to spend on clothes."
Now that is a “Real Danger.”
Buying designer clothing hardly seems like something we should fear but God gives us some real-life examples of how things turn out when we find our identity and life in anything other than living life with God as our #1.
This Sunday in our series The Dangerous Act of Worship we will be sifting through our lives to see what we are giving “extravagant devotion” to. Our idols may not look like a small statue we put on a shelf, but there may be those things in our lives that we value and give priority to that cut into God’s call to faithful worship.”
We are reassured by God that when we ...constantly seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness, then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly. Now that is a promise we don't have to be afraid of!
See you this Sunday in-person or online!
Worshipping with you,
Reflect: What are some genuine dangers that you feel you have good reasons to fear? Why? What makes “real dangers” to worship real? Are there ways you have lived where you have chosen safety instead of embracing the danger of faithful worship?
In what sense is worship of the living God dangerous? Is fear part of your experience of God? How does this affect how you understand the character and nature of God? How does this relate to God’s grace?
Encourage: What experiences of God have you had that you perceive as dangerous, but they have also served to encourage and deepen your faith? (Confronting or changing you, your relationships and priorities that cause you to live into your TRUE SELF. Have you noticed this happening in the life of someone you know. Can you encourage them to see these challenges as Good News in their lives that will realign their lives to engage more passionately in a life of justice (making things right) and righteousness (living God’s heart).
Gather: In your Life Group or Sunday Study Group discuss the ways you have tried to domesticate God. Have you identified idols or confused allegiances that God is asking you to turn from? Pray for one another that you will receive a new vision of living out The Dangerous Act of Worship in intentional ways rather than just choosing those things that are safe. How are we teaching our children and the next generation what true worship is?