The Most Important Part?

hotchocOccasionally I’ll hear someone say in a prayer or or statement that the communion is the most important part of the worship service.  I can recall hearing this as a young person growing up in the church. I think I understand what that means. It is an expression of gratitude for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the intentional remembrance of that event that is so powerful and meaningful.

I used to think, though, that the singing was the most important part. It was a part, after all, in which every person participated. The words are so meaningful. My enthusiasm and faith are strengthened in vigorous passionate singing. The passage below speaks to this, although it is not necessarily in reference to a worship assembly.

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:18-20

My guess is that some would consider the preaching to the be the most important part. The broadcasting of the gospel and Bible information on how to live this Christian life is a part of God’s plan, no doubt.

Speaking of the Bible, which part does it say is the most important?

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25

The Bible doesn’t tell us a great deal about what the assembly is supposed to look like. The purpose of the assembly is clearly spelled out, though, in the passage above.

Everything we do together is important. But it is very possible (probable?) that the most important part of the “worship service” (a term not used in Scripture) is the part where you hang out afterwards and talk to each other about what’s going on in our lives. Maybe what we need to do is streamline the rituals (not using that word in a bad or irreverent way) so we can get to the part where we get to spur one another on toward love and good deeds? Almost all of the “items of worship” can spur us on to love and good deeds, but that job seems to be left up to us … Christians urging Christians on in their walk in the Lord.

So, the most important part of the assembly today might have been the hug you gave a lonely person, the kind word to the distressed, the compassion to the hurting, the laughter with others who rejoice, and the sharing of your life together with someone else…even if just for a moment.

What do you think?

Thanks for reading!

John

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