The first worship service took place on Sunday morning in a church building. There were songs that were sung, greetings that were exchanged, messages that were listened to, and a fellowship of believers.
The second worship service took place on Sunday evening at an outdoor field. There were songs that were sung, greetings that were exchanged, messages that were listened to, and a fellowship of believers.
It was almost identical in elements... except that the second worship service was a Chicago Cubs baseball game at Wrigley Field.
I'm not trying to be irreverent, but I have been thinking about this the past couple days.
When we left the ball park I made this comment to my brother, "I feel like I've just been to a worship service." I said this after we had sung "Go Cubs Go!" Even though I'm not a Cubs fan, when you hear several thousand people singing, it's a cool experience.
Then I thought about what took place during the game…
I had talked with people around me. (Actually more people spoke to me at the game that night than in church that morning.)
High fives were given to others. (Again, more high fives at the game than in church that morning.)
I had enjoyed a meal. (We enjoyed a time of communion at church that morning.)
One major difference was that over 39,000 people found their way to Wrigley Field that night.
I probably don't need to say that there were fewer than 39,000 at church that morning.
So many people came to the game in spite of many inconveniences that had to be faced. People came to the game even though Wrigley Field has horrible parking. We decided to park on the other end of town and take the train to the game. Plus, we had to walk several blocks in the heat after riding the train.
It wasn't cheap to go to the game. (Even though we got a great deal on the tickets.)
The seats at the game weren't comfortable. I mean, they weren't totally uncomfortable, but with the packed crowd there wasn't a lot of personal space.
Yet, in spite of these inconveniences… we went to the game.
In fact, I cannot wait until I have another opportunity to go to a Cubs game at Wrigley.
Maybe the reason church doesn't compare to a baseball game is because we aren't inconvenienced enough?
After all, Jesus did call us to come follow Him. In following Him, we are to pick up our cross. We are to surrender our life. We are to put our agenda on the backburner and focus on His will for our lives.
That's pretty inconvenient.
But what do we do at church? We try to make it as easy as possible for people. We beg and plead for people to come.
Please don't misunderstand… I'm all for making the good news of Jesus accessible to people . But for so called "Christians" to have to be pleaded with week after week to come and worship the One who died for them… it's exasperating!!
It's time to reconsider the message we are sending to people. It's time to call people to step up. It's time to be more like the church at Wrigley.
There is a cost to be paid.
There are obstacles to overcome.
But in the end… WE WIN!!!
And the song of victory we sing in Heaven will be even greater than "Go Cubs Go!"