Why did God put us here?
My guess is that few people today have thought about that, and fewer still would come up with the right answer. Some might say, “Because God loves us,” but most wouldn’t know what to say. Nearly 400 years ago, a group of theologians from England and Scotland answered those questions, “Worship.”
It was the height of the English Civil War, and the theologians wanted to create a tool to teach children about God. The result was the Westminster Shorter Catechism. Its most famous line is the very first: “The Chief End of Man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.”
Of course, God loves us, but God created us so that we could reflect back to God a bit of God’s own glory, beauty, truth, and love. We’ve come to expect worship to inspire and teach us; we have high expectations of the music and preaching. Over the years, this led churches to divide over questions of music and style; we expected churches to cater to our tastes. But worship is about God, not us.
If you’re not worshipping, or if you’re worshipping something besides God, you’re missing out on an essential aspect of life; you’re violating your design.
The Bible says that in the early church there was singing, teaching, preaching, and celebration of the Sacraments, but the Bible gives precious few details about what that was like. Much of what we hold dear about worship is of our design.
But there’s no doubt that God created us for worship.
God commanded his ancient people to go up to Jerusalem to worship in the temple. He commands us still, but because of the work of the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ, worship no longer has to be in just one place.
But there’s also no doubt that God created us to worship together.
It’s a joy to come together again this week, still a bit distanced, but together as God intended.