There are those who go to church on a Sunday morning with an eager expectancy. They are quite confident that they will experience the presence of God, sense the leading of the Holy Spirit. They will exult in praise and as they lift up their worship, will find themselves lifted up. They will experience joy in their adoration, feel a filling of their spirit and leave with stronger faith, greater hope and increased love. And, if the sermon happens to be pretty good that day, well, that’s just icing on the cake.
There are others who go to church knowing that regardless of what lack there may be of spiritual communion, they will have done their duty. They will have been obedient to the teaching to "not forsake the assembling of yourselves together." It being the Lord’s Day, they will have gone to the Lord’s House and done their due diligence. It will not matter to them whether or not the sermon is dry, the singing uninspired and the prayers superficial. They will come and go with clear conscience and it is that which they seek.
There are others who go with little thought about praise or worship, perhaps even slightly indifferent to the notion of drawing close to God or of achieving a more faithful walk with the Lord. They are devoted to the people and it is that interaction that matters to them. There is some degree of vague shared belief but what really unites them is the social interaction. They like having some notion of religion but genuine spirituality isn’t the goal. Secretly, or not so secretly, some of them are even quite skeptical about some key aspects of orthodoxy. But, they like the traditions and the semblance of ceremony, and of course, the being together.
Of course, there are more than these three groups. Some want to hear a good rock band playing Christian music, others adore the pipe organ, some just can’t get enough of that good ole four part harmony and, possibly, some scattered few just can’t wait to hear some new bit of what they call "news." They call it that because "gossip" is such a dirty word and cheapens the value of the information. Whether or not it is their purpose, still others seem to come for the next good reason to criticize the singing or the preaching.
Regardless of collective or individual aim or focus, what strikes me is that nearly every one of these folks just about always gets exactly what they expected! Kind of like honey bees and dung beetles as they go about their daily pursuits…