I’ve said it, and prayed it, quite a few times. Yesterday, I caught myself. “Lord, please allow us to drop all of our burdens at the door and come and freely worship you.” I know what we mean when we pray that. We want to come to the Lord empty handed and not be distracted by a bunch of junk. We do not want to be thinking about meatloaf instead of meditating on our marvelous Maker. But do we really want to lay all of our burdens at the door?
This way of thinking tends to contradict what Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30:
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Perhaps Jesus does not want us to “drop all of our burdens at the door”. Perhaps our act of worship is to come heavy but to leave light. Jesus does not want you to drop reality and real life at the door, sing a few songs, hear a sermon, and then pick all of your baggage up on your way out. Jesus wants you to “cast all your anxiety upon him.”
I am becoming convinced that Jesus really did come to call sinners. Powerful worship does not happen when clean, put-together people, offer “service” to the Lord. Powerful worship happens when dirty, broken, sinners find the answer to their brokenness. Or perhaps we could say that powerful worship happens when clean, put-together people, praise the Lord that brought them out of the miry clay. Whether you are broken or healed the Lord desires a heart that does not pretend it’s living in Eden; but rather a heart that knows it is not where it is meant to be and is found longing for rescue.
So, next time you come to worship bring all of your baggage…but don’t leave with it.