"...everyone who willingly offered a freewill offering to the Lord. From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord, although the foundation of the temple of the Lord had not been laid." Ezra 3: 5, 6.
Keep Things in Perspective
You know, we can become so engrossed in church work that we forget to worship. So often people who are involved in planning programmes, who work behind the scenes to stage programmes (the technical crew), are so preoccupied with ensuring that things go right, or that they capture everything on camera that they often miss the worship experience. So before we start "working" let us erect an altar; keep things in perspective.
No "Ideal" Conditions Needed
How often have we found ourselves saying, or heard someone saying, "I need to get this thing, or do that thing before I really commit fully to God?" This is a fallacy. In the conversation of Jesus with the woman of Samaria He disclosed to her that worship is not confined to a special place (not that anything is lost by having a special spot dedicated for the purpose of prayer, praise and study - but worship extends beyond those). What He rather told her was that "God is a spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." John 4: 24
Worship - a Heart Experience
Worship then is not so much where you are, the things you have, the people you are with; worship is a heart experience. The true worshipper will join with others in formal worship, but will go it alone (even in a crowd - with due discretion of course); it is sometimes very audible, but it can be very quiet; it is a continuous process, and not a sporadic drift into a mode of piety. Worship is a way of life that does not need the approval of others - be they civil authorities, employers, acquaintances or family members; it's a personal heart connection with the Creator. This is why we would see Abraham erecting altars almost everywhere he went - he took his worship with him.
This reading is based on Ezra 3. To read and/or listen to Ezra 3 and read other related blogs click here.