My friend and I were talking about the familiar excellence topic that drives numerous modern day churches. He asked me, “If God was coming to dinner would you pull out the paper plates or get out the good china?”
I know the intent. I know when leaders ask people this question that they want them to say they would get out the china and then leaders use that reasoning to inspire them to practice harder, dress nicer and bring their A game to church for God. Um, okay.
But I couldn’t get past the question.
“Are you telling me that they creator of the universe, the Lord of hosts, the beginning and the end and author of all things is coming to my house? Are we talking about the God who sits on the throne with winged angels spending 24/7 announcing ‘HOLY!HOLY!HOLY!’ Are we saying He’s coming to my house to sit at my table?”
This God is coming to my house and I’m thinking about my good plates and my fancy clothes? I doubt it. I know where I was supposed to go with His question. He wants me to stop dressing like a slob. But his case is pretty flawed.
The fact is, I have nothing that God would look at and be impressed. My best is as filthy rags to Him in comparison to His holiness. In fact, if I want to go to scripture to see what people wore when approaching Him I see they wore potato sacks and piled ashes on their heads. Pretty attractive, huh? If you’re convinced that God is somehow contained by your silly, little pile of bricks and mortar that you call your “church,” it’s time to take a deeper look at what Jesus did and what the Holy Spirit does.
I totally understand what my friend was trying to get at. I just think his “God’s-coming-to-dinner” motivational plea needs to be retired.
If God is coming to my house for dinner, I will be laying on my face. He’s concerned with my heart, not my dishes.
Amos 5:22-24 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!