There is something wrong when we have to be forever reminded of the fact that we should be reverent in the assemblies. It is a certain fact that one’s mind is not on God when he has to be reminded of the proper conduct in assembly. It would not be possible for a person to have his mind on God and be irreverent. Irreverence and the thought of being God’s presence just do not go together. In view of the irreverence that is being manifest in our services, it is certain that some of us have our minds on everything but God.
Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few (Ecc. 5:1-2).
We are here called to reverence and thoughtfulness in the assemblies. There are entirely too many giddy, flippant, and impious, merry people in our assemblies. We do not, or at least we should not, go to worship to talk, but to listen. All things that are light and foolish should be put out of our minds and hearts before we assemble to worship. We should go to the assemblies with our ears open toward heaven, anxiously waiting to hear and commune with God. Many seem to have never learned why we assemble and in what spirit we should come before God.
Let a person go to the assembly boisterously, self-sufficiently, or worried by worldly memories, and he will miss the entire meaning of worship. But let him go penitently, simple in purpose, conscious of need, with a heart full of expectation and desire toward God and the singing will swell into grand anthems, and the simplest sermon will glow as with fire from heaven.