On my way to Church Sunday and as I routinely do on my cart, I cut through the parking lot of the local RCC and I had a thought after see the multitudes of cars. They go to mass because hey have to to avoid hell they think, we go because we want too.
Anyway that’s what I was thinking in my little mind.
As one who grew up Roman Catholic, that is a very good observation. They even call Holy Days “Days of Obligation”.
They approach worship as a slave would.
Now, granted, a few of them are happy slaves and, existentially, they are looking forward to going to Mass but it is as a happy slave, along with the vast majority in the RCC that are miserable slaves who know they’ll go to Hell if they don’t at least “punch in” on Christmas and Easter. Every employer has their 10% of really motivated servants.
But, in the best case scenario, the Roman Catholic is coming to worship God as the Prodigal Son had in mind: “It’s better to be a slave in my Father’s house….” What I discovered last year was something profound. The Father would not accept the Prodigal Son back as a slave but only as a son.
As Peter reminds us in 2 Peter 1:1-4, we’ve been given everything in Christ and our inheritance has been secured by Him. Thus, we don’t come even as happy slaves trying to earn the good that God is doing for us in our worship and service to Him. That’s the Pharisee, the elder brother. The Prodigal Son was not going to be the happy slave compared to the dutiful but miserable slave that his elder brother thought Himself to be.
No! The younger son was inside, in the light, rejoicing with His Father and the household. He hadn’t earned any of it. He couldn’t claim any of it. The Father had given to the son an inheritance he had no claim to. Sheer grace and love lavished for nothing good in him.
We enter into worship as adopted sons and not as slaves!