I was speaking to the young people at RIOT last week about Africa. I was encouraging them simply to think 'what can we give?' rather than 'what can we get?'. This is how the Kingdom of God differs from the world.
Ironically I am becoming even more aware of how often in churchlife we are focused on what we can get. I've never been a great fan of contemporary Christian 'worship' music for this very reason. I love the stuff that echoes the saints of the ages...singing 'How great is our God' or 'Holy. Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty'. When we focus on God it takes our eyes off ourselves.
So why then are so many worship songs focused on us.....'I'm hungry', 'I'm thirsty', 'Here I am waiting' etc etc. Take the song 'True Intimacy' (A modern favourite that has always grated with me):
'Here I stand, Waiting Lord,
Touch me now like never before'.......
Come on! How can we truly give worship when we're so focused on trying to get something??
Anyway I'm trying to defeat my cynical side so I'll stop now...