I’ve belonged to a lot of different churches over the years, with different worship styles. I was raised Presbyterian, which is not liturgical, but has a structured order of worship. We sang hymns, said the Disciples Creed and the Lord’s Prayer, listened to a choir and stood for the reading of the Gospel. In some churches the pastor wore a robe and we called him “Reverend.”
Methodists and Wesleyans were a little more relaxed, but they had acolytes who lit the candles and the choir wore robes. One of my favorite parts of the worship was the benediction. They also followed the church year by hanging different color vestments on the altar.
The independent churches are even more casual. The last one I attended has a blended service, with both worship songs and hymns and occasional responsive readings. The church I go to now has fewer elements. The service consists of modern worship music, an offering and a sermon with prayer and scriptures incorporated into it. It always closes with an altar call.
Personally, I’m most comfortable in a more structured service, but I like aspects of all of them. There are also elements of each I don’t like and I’m ashamed to admit I’m sometimes critical of the things I don’t like.
God used this passage to remind me that the church service is His and it takes place in His house. Haggai is God’s message to the Israelites when they were rebuilding the temple after the exile. Although I don’t want to take it out of context, I’m going to focus on verse 8 of this passage, because that’s the one that spoke to me.
Whether I like every element of the worship service is irrelevant. Worship belongs to God. He points that out to the Israelites when He says:
The silver is mine and the gold is mine.
Everything in worship is for God and belongs to Him.
The music is His.
The offering is His.
The prayers are His.
The scripture is His.
The sermon is His.
The building is His.
The church belongs to God and when I walk into the sanctuary, I’m entering His house to worship Him.