My mother was passionate about church attendance. She never learned to drive, so when my father once refused to go, she walked my siblings and me to church across country fields.
She sometimes quoted a sentence she had memorized from a catechism: “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”
While we receive many benefits by attending church, we go to church primarily to bring glory to God. As a congregation worships, teaches, and serves, the collective fellowship of believers points communities to God.
Besides offering glory to God as we worship, we can also glorify God as we work and play and go about our daily lives. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31, NIV).
Missionaries have devoted their lives to Christian service, and their significant sacrifice should be recognized. But every Christian brings God glory through whatever work they do. Farmers tend God’s crops. Custodians maintain a clean, friendly environment. Businessmen help to create a sustainable society. Doctors extend God’s healing. Teachers develop young minds. Writers inspire readers. And the list never ends. God needs us all to care for God’s world.
Through our work we reflect God’s values and principles. We show love and compassion to others, and as we demonstrate God’s qualities, others learn what our awesome God is like.
All of nature also glorifies God. Whether a showy zinnia or a shy-faced violet, each one blooms to God’s glory wherever it is planted.
Sunflowers grow tall with leafy fronds, while portulacas cling to the earth. Sundrops fold their petals when darkness falls, while moonflowers open only at night. Such variety, such a display of God’s creativity.
Trees grow to God’s glory. Tiny acorns develop into giant oaks, showing God’s amazing power as their roots can buckle cement. They stand tall in the face of strong winds, reminding us that we too can withstand the storms of life.
As I sit on my deck listening to birds, I consider how their songs bring glory to God. Each creature trills, chirps, or whistles as God created them. So too do we, as individuals, bring glory to God with our songs and our service. Each person is unique and has a particular set of capabilities. No one else can be who you are. No one else can be where God has planted you. Each of us is an image-bearer of God to a watching world.
What spiritual gifts, talents, skills, and interests have you received from God? How can you develop them to God’s glory? While you do so, look for opportunities to show God’s attributes to those around you.
We will be less likely to take church for granted now that we have been denied access during the pandemic that shutdown our society in so many ways.
I’ve watched my pastor preach on my I-Pad, but I’ve missed chatting with others at church. I’ve missed praising God in song with other believers. I’ve missed joining with others in prayer.
But I continue to worship God during my quiet time and throughout my day as God comes to mind, because God deserves to receive glory no matter where I find myself.
Our resolve must be different. My prayer is that we have finally reached a tipping point. My hope is that when the protests fade and the marches slow that our will as a church to truly eradicate the scourge of racism won’t dissipate but grows even stronger.” View a growing list of resources for the spiritual work of overcoming racism.