Perhaps what we need is less activity and more inner stillness. We need time to worship and be still and know that God is. In his presence is singing, prayer, offering and reading and exposition of the Word.
When the world is too much with us we should rediscover the church as a refuge, a place to go from the turmoil and anxieties of the world, and be quiet for a while and seek through the Spirit an affinity with God in Christ. Activists will label this escapism, but there are some things we need to escape.
In the anxiety that always accompanies a change in administration, when good King Uzziah died, Isaiah went into the Temple, where he received the vision of a holy God, high and lifted up.
In a large program-oriented church the only place where all gather at one time in one place and feel solidarity is in worship in the sanctuary. Here young and old, male and female, black and white can feel that emotional junction we call unity.
When we need a refuge from the world with its trivial distractions and pervasive evil, let us steal away to the arms of mother church, enter into her gates with thanksgiving and into her courts with praise. Let us worship God. Let us sing a new song.
Posted Dec. 22, 2001
Henry Mahler, a retired Presbyterian minister living in Lynchburg, Va., was inspired while sitting in a church pew, awaiting the start of a Christmas Eve service. “The church was beautifully decorated, and in the quietness I felt a refuge from the feverish over-activity that leads up to the season.”