We hear it all the time in corporate worship services:
“God, we invite you to come as we worship you.”
“God, fill this place as we worship.”
“God, you are welcome here. Come down as we worship you.”
The motivation is, of course, noble: we want to commune with God in worship. We don’t worship for our own entertainment; we worship God, and so we want him there with us as we give him praise.
But here’s the problem: God is already there.
In fact, it is God who has initiated the communion. He is the one who invites us to join him in fellowship through the sacrificial atonement of his Son, which enables sinners such as we are to draw near to him in worship.
You see, the idea that we invite God–that we do things to please him and get his attention–is actually more pagan than it is biblical. In fact, I have suggested elsewhere that this is one of the fundamental differences between biblical worship and pagan...