Today’s Reading: Zechariah 8:1-23 (additional reading: Psalm 144:1-15 & Proverbs 30:29-31)
As we come to chapters 7&8 of Zechariah we move from an account Zechariah’s visions to the central narrative section of the book. Here we’re no longer dealing with images, but with issues the nation needs to grapple with: of true or false worship, of what God has done and what he will do with his people, of who they’ll serve, who they’ll obey.
What we see is that in fact Zechariah’s answer has a surprisingly modern ring about it, doesn’t it? How much religious observance that goes on around the world today has its origin in the need of the worshipper to feel a sense of spiritual connection rather than in a desire to do what God wants.
If you think about the carols which you will sing today – how much worship is done for the sake of the worshipper and not for God? It doesn’t seem to matter what our particular inclination is. It’s so easy to look at our worship and ask whether we’re getting what we want from it. How often do you hear someone say something like, “I just don’t seem to get what I want out of worship” or the other way around, “What I want out of worship is …” But God reminds us here that when we come to worship it should be with God in our minds, not our own likes and dislikes.
We treat worship sometime a lot like our Christmas gifts. We are much more interested in what we can get for ourselves rather then if we have given a gift which someone else will love. What is more important given an amazing gift or receiving an amazing gift?
What’s our primary goal in worship? If we really claim to worship God we should be seeking the sorts of things he seeks: justice, integrity, fairness, faithfulness in our relationships. We should be aiming to give Him the best that we can, remembering that this is what Christmas is all about… God given His best for us.