Playing Cards in the presence of the Living God

One evening last week I was at a worship service at a local coffee shop. The coffee shop owners were the hosts and organizers, and about 30 minutes before closing most of the tables and chairs were arranged – with a lot of commotion and bustle – so that the people who were pouring into the shop could worship together. Most of the shop customers caught on that something was going down, and either stayed to participate or headed out voluntarily.

A few people were in the back of the shop playing a card game. I don’t know what game – they had cards I didn’t recognize and using terms I haven’t heard in the context of cards (like “rook”). They asked what was going on during set-up and returned to their card game. Someone got up to pray before worship and they kept playing cards. “I put down a ___ and challenge your rook” or something like that. Then we started to worship. And they kept playing cards, loudly, talking over the 50+ singing voices and guitar and a cajon. I don’t think most people noticed they were there, but I did, because I was in the back, too.

God was worshiped and glorified and present there. And they were sitting in the back, playing cards. I guess the game they were playing must have been pretty engrossing, to keep playing in that loudness.

And I was offended. Not because they were loud or distracting (although they were) – I was offended because the living God, whose hem is so great it fills a temple, who dwells in pillars of fire and smoke, who created the Andromeda Galaxy and the Horsehead Nebula and the universe that holds them, who shed his own blood on the cross to reconcile humans to himself, was there,

and they just played cards.

The coffee shop became a temple of the living God because it was filled with his temples – his children in whom he dwells,

and they just played cards.

Like the God of the universe didn’t even matter.

I was angry. In my anger I realized that it wasn’t just those few people playing cards who were ignoring the living God like he didn’t even matter, disdaining his desire to adopt them as his children. I have always desired that people would know Jesus because he is life and joy, but that night I realized that I want people to know Jesus because Jesus deserves it. He deserves their worship, our worship. For all he has done and does and will do, for who he is, he deserves worship.

But people just keep playing cards.


2 thoughts on “Playing Cards in the presence of the Living God

  1. And he loves them- He calls the elect of God to love…

    “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” Col. 3:12+13

    Maybe the publicans and the sinners played cards, but Jesus ate with them, and not the Pharisees.

    Thank God it’s not too late for more to know that Christ is worthy of glory and honor and power for ever and above all. For He is holy 🙂

    Grace, and peace to you ~

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