Yesterday morning we watched the nooma video “Sunday.” Above is a snippet from it and here is a short synopsis of it: “Why do we do the things we do? Why do we go to church or give money away? Because we’re supposed to or because we think God needs it? Do we honestly put on our best clothes for an hour once a week, stand and sit at all the right times, and sing all the appropriate songs for God’s sake, or because it’ll make us look better to the world around us? We’re tired of all the empty rituals and routines. And so is God. God hates it when we call ourselves Christians but ignore all the things he really cares about. He hates it when we go through hollow religious routines out of some feeling of duty or obligation. God doesn’t want the meaningless rituals. God wants our hearts.”
Two things challenged me from this video. First, God wants our hearts. God says in the book of Isaiah “These people honour me with their lips but their hearts are far from me.” Are we one of these people? Do we honour God just with our lips but not with our hearts? The Scriptures remind us that God doesn’t want the empty rituals. God wants our hearts. He wants us to love Him with all our heart, soul. mind and strength. God wants us to desire Him more than anything else that this world has to offer. God wants our hearts because when God has our hearts we will start to care about the things God cares about; we will start to care about the people God cares about. Does God have your heart?
Secondly, God hates it, He can’t stand it when we put on a religious show and then we ignore the poor and the broken and the marginalized and the oppressed. Have you been part part of the show? What issues in our world today do you think God really cares about and what are you doing about them? These are questions that I am asking myself. I know that there are incredible needs in my community and I want to commit myself to doing my part in meeting those needs. I want to bring that “cup of water” in Jesus’ name to those who need it most. I want to get out of my “holy huddle” and be salt and light to those who need it most. Are you willing to show love to the unlovely?
Rob Bell concludes the video by saying this: “Let’s be honest. A lot of people confuse religion with God and walk away from both. The point isn’t Christianity. The point is being a Christian. It means being a follower of Jesus. It’s being connected with everything that is true and good and right. Everything that goes on around us, that reminds us that there is so much more going on around us than we realize. Could anything be more beautiful?”