As I write this, thousands of people have descended upon the Chesapeake Energy Arena, lining “Thunder Alley” in order to welcome Russell Westbrook (and his new contract extension) to a press conference. The temperature is hovering near 100 degrees, and press conferences (especially ones hosted by the Thunder) are usually somewhat predictable, but that did not stop thousands from flocking to the ‘Peake at the end of a workday. Why did people go to the Arena today? Because of him.
Exactly one month ago, OKC felt the sting of the face of the franchise, Kevin Durant, leaving the Sooner state for the Bay area. The past 30 days have put all Oklahoma on “Westbrook watch,” wondering if number zero would be the next player to break our hearts. Instead, Russ is coming back to the Thunder and looks genuinely happy to do so. He is an amazing talent, one of the five best basketball players in the world, and we are lucky to have him lead our franchise in the post-Durant era. Because Westbrook was in the house, people showed up to pay homage. They came because of him.
In our celebrity centered culture, we make a lot of attendance decisions based on WHO is being honored. We tend to show up when the important people are there.
Why do I share this story? I share it because I think sometimes we devalue church attendance because we forget who is being honored. We fail to show up to church because we have made church about a volunteer job we have to do, or a group of friends we need to see, or a message that might be interesting, or a set of songs we may or may not like. When we make church about the WHAT, we sometimes lose our enthusiasm for participation. But, we are not coming together on Sundays just to do some WHATs. We come together on Sundays to celebrate Someone. To worship Jesus. We come together because of who He is.
A couple of weeks ago at Wildwood Community Church, we began a sermon series called “Come Together.” This series sought to answer the question, “Why do we come together for worship on Sundays?” So far in this series, we have been reminded that:
- We come together because of who we are – members of God’s household. (Ephesians 2:19-22)
- We worship Him in Spirit and in Truth as we remember the who, what, when, and where of worship. (John 4)
This coming Sunday, we will wrap up this series by looking at Colossians 1:15-23 together in a message which will remind us that we come together because of who He is. We hope to have you join us this Sunday as we worship at 9:30 and 11:00. We will also be watching the baptisms and hearing the testimonies of 14 people (divided between the two services) who were baptized this past month at Wildwood. Make plans to join us this Sunday!