The time is 11:00 in Reardon Auditorium and chapel has begun. Announcements have begun rolling and a few stragglers find a way to their seats. The glow of smartphones slowly diminishes as it comes time for worship to start. Most in attendance stand and participate in worship. Imagine for a moment what it would be like for Jesus to physically enter into this scene. Jesus starts walking in from the lobby and instantly sees those on laptops, smartphones, and sleeping. Worship begins to end and Jesus heads up to the balcony to get a better place to view the crowd. The speaker comes out and after appropriate applause begins the message. The Christmas tree like glow of glowing heads and torsos now fills the auditorium.
God is present everywhere and sees all of our actions. There is no difference when we are at chapel. Jesus doesn’t have to be present physically to know and see your actions. We have become desensitized to this idea of accountability. Too often we struggle to hear God’s voice or plan in our actions, yet when the times come to hear His voice we distract ourselves. God’s heart is breaking to get His plan for our lives heard by us and the least we can do is stop and dwell in His presence. Neglecting our spiritual lives isn’t the answer to make up for over committed or overwhelmed schedules.
There have been a variety of speakers and worship styles presented and used this semester. Chapel speakers can see what we are up to from the stage in every section. In Matthew 21:12 it is written how Jesus responds to those making a mockery out of His house. How we act while we are at chapel reflects on the groups and organizations we represent. While each individual person has preferences on how these things should be done, we are missing the point by focusing in on our preferences. There are many different ways of expressing our love and learning about God. Instead of rejoicing in this truth, the enemy twists this into a lie, that it’s not the way we would do things. No matter who worships or speaks at chapel, we have the ability to grow in our relationship with God and in our understanding of Him. The AU community is blessed to have the opportunity to worship and grow together at chapel.
I don’t know where the idea of church needing to always be entertaining and agreeable comes from. Every AU student signs a statement agreeing to live by the lifestyle standards and student code of conduct while attending here, which includes chapel expectations. From day one we have all agreed to live by something that has always been apart of the history here. Creating a new or improved product isn’t the solution for all of these challenges. When did we stop holding our friends around us accountable? We are capable as a community of so much more in how we think and participate in chapel.