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Thieves who didn’t steal anything, and a smiling Jesus!

I want to tell you a story. It is about a robber who didn’t steal anything!

Sounds crazy doesn’t it, but this robber broke into an auction room n London and simply swapped the price tags around so no one knew how much anything was worth! And you could buy a million pound painting for a tenner!!

Something people often talk to me about when I talk about Church is about worship; which they normally think means going to a Church service, or an assembly, and singing some songs… but that isn’t actually what worship is all about!

The word “worship” comes from an AngloSaxon word “Worth-ship” –showing how much you think something is worth.

The idea Christians have about worship is telling and showing God how much we think he’s worth, how important he is to us, saying thank you.

Imagine for a second it is your best friends birthday; you forgot to get them a card, or a present, and forgot to go to their birthday, or even mention it and say “happy birthday” they might not feel like they are worth very much to you, but if you had made them something really nice and made a real effort to give them a great day, they’d probably not only feel very special, they’d know that they are worth a lot to you.

I want to show you some of the most precious things I own, pictures and paintings from my daughter–if I sold them they might not make any money, but they are really valuable to me, she drew them for me, she took time and effort to do something for me, and because of that I love them!

And that is why it is so important to me!

Another thing is a battered old can of bass beer. I was having a bad day when I was working in Bristol and I was chatting to a homeless lady Jo, and she asked how I was, and I made a silly joke about “nothing a beer and a holiday in Barbados wouldn’t fix” –and ten minutes later she came having bought me a can of beer from the shop. She had absolutely no money, but she got me a present. For me, it was too precious to drink, and I keep it to help me remember to be generous and kind –even when I don’t feel like it!

There is a story a bit like this in the Bible, where King David was fighting and he longed for a drink of water from his hometown, and three of best soldiers went and risked their lives to get it for him, having to fight there way through lots of enemy soldiers. They thought their King was worth risking their life for. King David, who was so amazed and thankful for their generosity and kindness, that he said “this water is too precious to drink” –and poured it on the altar for God.

There is another story in the Bible, where Jesus stuck up for this lady Mary who was getting told off by her sister Martha, and then later when their brother Lazarus died Jesus came and brought him back to life. One day Jesus was eating at their house, and Mary came with a bottle of perfume worth about a years wages (and she probably wasn’t rich) and poured it all over Jesus’ feet to show him just how much she thought he was worth. In fact this same Mary was probably there when Jesus was crucified and everyone else had run off, and was the first person who saw Jesus when he had been raised from the dead.

And another great story about worship, that Jesus sold, is a guy who saw this pearl that was so amazing, that he sold absolutely everything he had to get that pearl… Christians say that pearl is Jesus!

I’m not saying that going to Church and singing songs is not worship, it can be, but worship is really what is in our hearts.

A guy called Paul who wrote lots of the Bible, talks about “offering our souls and bodies as living sacrifices to God” –which mean that in everything we do, we are living a life that shows God that we think he is important to us, and that means doing the things we know he likes, and not doing the things we know he doesn’t. Someone once said: “Living in a way that would make Jesus smile” –those things we know he likes us to do.

So, a challenge to think about worship not just as “things we do”, “places we have to go” or “things we have to sing” but rather living our lives that shows God how much we think he’s worth, how important he is for us!

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