Growth in Worship –
From the beginning, we were created to worship. The spirit within us yearns for something, someone bigger than we are. From the beginning God created women and men for community and called a people into covenant. Jesus called, commissioned, and promised to be present to a people gathered in His name. The Holy Spirit calls, gathers, orders, and empowers the new community of the covenant. To each member, that Spirit gives gifts for building up the body of Christ and for equipping it for the work of ministry. A Christians’ response to God is in community.
Directory For Worship: The Dynamics of Christian Worship – Chapter 1 – p.76
Growth in worship has nothing to do with how many people are gathered. True worship begins with a deep respect or reverence for God, a frame of heart, and attitude. Grady Scott writes that the Bible talks about several “kinds” of worship.
Ignorant Worship – Acts 17:23
1. “For as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I (Paul) even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you;
2. Ignorant worship is not pleasing to God for he is not glorified by accident, but by a conscience praise of His name.
Do we enter worship in anticipation of wanting a closer relationship with God and those around us? Something as simple as Google worship might give you a jump start, a set of training wheels. We need to push ourselves beyond it is Sunday morning and this is where I go to do 59 holy divine minutes.
Vain Worship – Matthew 15:7-9
Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. In vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men”
Many times, we find ourselves repeating words without really thinking about them. One definition of God that is used a lot this time of year is God in 3 persons blessed Trinity. Have you given that any real thought? Short of well of course, He is God!
In my confirmation instruction, there was one class we spent on trying to understand the Trinity. Father, Son and Holy Spirit all one. The Associate Pastor assigned to this task in desperation took a deep breath and explained it as follows: Your dad has a purpose and responsibility to you as someone who loves you, teaches you and had part in your creation. He is also your Grandpa’s son. As a son, he answers to his father, shows respect and continues his father’s instruction by relating to you. He is also your mother’s husband. As a husband, he completes their relationship and together they create, nurture and prepare you to go out into the world. Three purposes yet one person.
Perhaps you need another image. A few years back I led a book study. The book we read at one point was The Shack. In this book God is described as female and black. I did not struggle with this because I firmly believe as a human being here on earth I cannot possibly know what God looks like. One of the women in the study was moved to tears by the image because God the father was always a stumbling block for her. Her father had left the family when she was little and never had a loving relationship with him. Her mother however was a spiritual, loving presence in her life. She could relate to that. It comforted her to know God could be like the parent she had come to love. Her mother was a daughter to her grandmother, a mother to her and a wife to her father. The 3 in one made much more sense to her because someone defined God outside of the box we like to put him in.
Will Worship – Colossians 2:23
Worship that centers in satisfying self. This is the same type of worship that we often have today, that which calls for “audience centered” worship.
True Worship – John 4:23-24
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
Remember my opening comment regarding Worship? From the beginning God created women and men for community and called a people into covenant. Jesus called, commissioned, and promised to be present to a people gathered in His name. The Holy Spirit calls, gathers, orders, and empowers the new community of the covenant. To each member, that Spirit gives gifts for building up the body of Christ and for equipping it for the work of ministry. Three purposes yet one person. Come Worship God with an open heart and mind. Come, now is the time to Worship as a community.
Kris Bartelt, Worship Coordinator