Can’t Ignore Him

Jesus was not a godlike man, not a manlike God. He was God-man.

Midwifed by a carpenter.
Bathed by a peasant girl.
The maker of the world with a bellybutton.
The author of the Torah being taught the Torah.

Heaven’s human. And because he was, we are left with scratch-your-head, double-blink, what’s-wrong-with-this-picture? moments like these:

A cripple sponsoring the town dance.
A sack lunch satisfying five thousand tummies.
What do we do with such moments?

What do we do with such a person? We applaud men for doing good things. We enshrine God for doing great things. But when a man does God things?

One thing is certain, we can’t ignore him.

 —Max Lucado, Next Door Savior

Defining Worship 20

Worship is when you’re aware that what you’ve been given is far greater than what you can give. Worship is the awareness that were it not for his touch, you’d still be hobbling and hurting, bitter and broken. Worship is the half-glazed expression on the parched face of a desert pilgrim as he discovers that the oasis is not a mirage.

Worship is a voluntary act of gratitude offered by the saved to the Savior, by the healed to the Healer, and by the delivered to the Deliverer.

—Max Lucado, In the Eye of the Storm, 163

Defining Worship 7

Exactly what is worship? I like King David’s definition. “Oh magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together” (Ps. 34: 3 NASB). Worship is the act of magnifying God. Enlarging our vision of Him. . . . Of course, His size doesn’t change, but our perception of Him does. As we draw nearer, He seems larger. Isn’t that what we need? A big view of God? Don’t we have big problems, big worries, big questions? Of course we do. Hence we need a big view of God.

Worship offers that. How can we sing, “Holy, Holy, Holy” and not have our vision expanded? Or what about the lines from “It Is Well with My Soul”

My sin—O the bliss of this glorious thought, my sin—not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more, praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

—Max Lucado, Just like Jesus, 82

Lucado on Worship

Worship is when you’re aware that what you’ve been given is far greater than what you can give. Worship is the awareness that were it not for his touch, you’d still be hobbling and hurting, bitter and broken. Worship is the half-glazed expression on the parched face of a desert pilgrim as he discovers that the oasis is not a mirage.

Worship is the “thank you” that refuses to be silenced.

We have tried to make a science out of worship. We can’t do that. We can’t do that any more than we can “sell love” or “negotiate peace.”

Worship is a voluntary act of gratitude offered by the saved to the Savior, by the healed to the Healer, and by the delivered to the Deliverer.

–Max Lucado, In the Eye of the Storm (Word Publishing, 1991)

Of Planes and Pews

People on a plane and people on a pew have a lot in common. All are on a journey. Most are well-behaved and presentable. Some doze, and others gaze out the window. Most, if not all, are satisfied with a predictable experience. For many, the mark of a good flight and the mark of a good worship assembly are the same. “Nice,” we like to say. “It was a nice flight/It was a nice worship service.” We exit the same way we enter, and we’re happy to return next time.

A few, however, are not content with nice. They long for something more. The boy who just passed me did. I heard him before I saw him. I was already in my seat when he asked, “Will they really let me meet the pilot?” He was either lucky or shrewd because he made the request just as he entered the plane. The question floated into the cockpit, causing the pilot to lean out. “Someone looking for me?” he asked. The boy’s hand shot up like he was answering his second grade teacher’s question. “Well, come on in.” With a nod from his mom, the youngster entered the cockpit’s world of controls and gauges and emerged minutes later with eyes wide. “Wow!” he exclaimed. “I’m so glad to be on this plane!”

He wanted to see the pilot. If asked to describe the flight, he wouldn’t say “nice.” He’d likely produce the plastic wings the pilot gave him and say, “I saw the man up front.”

Do you see why I say that people on a plane and people on a pew have a lot in common? Enter a church sanctuary and look at the faces. A few are giggly, a couple are cranky, but by and large we are content. Content to be there. Content to sit and look straight ahead and leave when the service is over. Content to enjoy an assembly with no surprises or turbulence. Content with a “nice” service. “Seek and you will find,” Jesus promised. And since a nice service is what we seek, a nice service is usually what we find. A few, however, seek more. A few come with the childlike enthusiasm of the boy. And those few leave as he did, wide-eyed with the wonder of having stood in the presence of the pilot himself.

–Max Lucado, Just Like Jesus, excerpts from pages 77-79