WORSHIP SHAPES LIFE
James Michener, writing in his book, The Source, tells the story of a man named
Urbaal, who was a farmer living about 2200 B.C. He worshiped two gods, one a god of death, the other a goddess of
fertility. One day, the temple priests tell Urbaal to bring his young son to the temple for sacrifice--if he wants good crops.
Urbaal obeys, and on the appointed day drags his wife and boy to the scene of the boy's "religious execution" by fire to the god
of death. After the sacrifice of Urbaal's boy the several others, the priests announce that one of the fathers will spend
next week in the temple, with a new temple prostitute. Urbaal's wife is stunned as she notices a desire written more intensely
across his face than she had seen before, and she in overwhelmed to see him eagerly lunge forward when his name is called. The
ceremony over, she walks out of the temple with her head swimming, concluding that "if he had different gods, he would
have been a different man."
Erwin Lutzer, Pastor to Pastor, p.
During the tenure of the great orator Henry Ward Beecher, a visiting minister (Beecher's brother) once substituted for the
popular pastor. A large audience had already assembled to hear Beecher, and when the substitute pastor stepped into the pulpit,
several disappointed listeners began to move toward the exits.
That's when the minister stood and said loudly, "All who have come here today to worship Henry Ward Beecher may now withdraw
from the church. All who have come to worship God keep your seats!"
Today in the Word, April 1989, p. 22.
After attending church one Sunday morning, a little boy knelt at his bedside that night and prayed, "Dear God, we had a good time
at church today--but I wish you had been there!"