Raising well over double the money you expected to make during a one day fundraiser is a great reason to praise the Lord! That’s exactly what Casa Chirilagua and its supporters are doing right now. Thank you to all of you who have prayed and helped to completely demolish their original monetary goal! This is one of the ministries that Restoration supports, and it is especially close to my heart because I live in the Chirilagua neighborhood in northern Alexandria (Arlandria) and have taught a number of the children who live there.
The type of worship that Casa Chirilagua and other ministries allow us to engage in is so close to the heart of God. Scripture is riddled with passages that show God’s desire for us to care for the orphan, the widow, the alien, and the poor. I used to equate this type of service with worship seeing them as inseparable. As I reread Richard Foster’s chapter on worship, I think I was wrong. Yes, God can receive glory from anything he chooses to receive glory from, but I think that may be different than worship. I’ll let Foster explain:
If the Lord is to be Lord, worship must have priority in our lives. The first commandment of Jesus is, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). The divine priority is worship first, service second. Our lives are to be punctuated with praise, thanksgiving, and adoration. Service flows out of worship. Service as a substitute for worship is idolatry. Activity is the enemy of adoration.
Now I don’t know if I agree completely with this last sentence, but activity definitely can be the enemy of adoration. The staff at Casa Chirilagua can share how difficult it is to try to make everything “work” by their own strength and can distinguish it, at times more easily than others, from relying on the Spirit and giving him glory and adoration as they move into whatever act of service they are called to. I admire the Casa Chiri staff and volunteers for their desire to worship the Lord through their acts of service.
This Sunday we will be singing, “Hallelujah! Our God reigns forever, all my days. Hallelujah!” As you do whatever act of service you are called to do, I encourage you to make every effort to do it with a “hallelujah (Praise the Lord)” on your lips.
Well, I’m off to go work with the middle schoolers…Lord, help me to make this service an act of worship to you.