Each generation or so, God’s people have the challenge to avert the drift to meaningless Christianity. Sometimes they rise to the occasion. Often, they just sleep right through it.

At Christmas, some Christians still sing a song that includes these words: “O come, O come, Emmanuel.” Now, if you want to be a good communicator and impact people with the power of God’s Word and meaning, that song is begging God to be with us. That’s what Emmanuel means: God is with us! Why would we need to keep asking God to be with us?

Perhaps we need to invite God every day because, as humans, we resist change. It’s a form of selfishness. We like to continue worship and other church practices that “feel good”—at least to us! So, what do we do? We hang on to worn-out styles. We recite words like, “In the name of the Lord!” but really don’t think about what it means.

This turns faith into religion. It is the practice of the Pharisees, whether in Bible times or today. You don’t really want to go there, do you?

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