Monday, July 26, 2010

The Gift of Worship

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
7For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand. Psalm 95:6-7 ESV

And he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." Mark 2:27 ESV

Worship sets us apart from other animals. Some say that it is our thinking that sets us apart from animals; or the way we use tools. But research has shown that animals also think, and also use tools. There is something we do, that no other created thing does. No other created thing worships. Worship is not an afterthought of God, but it is a gift for us.

Worship satisfies our desire to know God. God is present when we sing, during prayer, in Scripture, and when we celebrate the sacraments. We gather together to celebrate the One we have in common. We confess our sin together, we confess our faith together, and we hear the absolution together.

Worship is where God meets us, and we respond. It is a communication with God.

In worship, God renews us. It is like finding North on the compass and reorienting ourselves to God. It is with great joy that He renews our minds in worship. We see our brothers and sisters in the pew across the aisle, worshipping, provoking us to worship alongside them. We hear pastor announcing the absolution for us. We receive Christ's blood and body. We remember our baptism and the promises attached to that baptism: remission of sins, discipleship, salvation, eternal life.

Witness takes place in worship. We show our neighbors that worship is important just by attending. As we leave our driveways to go to church, our neighbors know that we are Christians. Walking into church, the neighbors of the church know we are Christians. It is this witness that may allow us to give these neighbors the good news of Jesus' forgiveness for us sinners.

We respond to God meeting us with joy and thanksgiving. Leaving weekly worship with a song of praise on our lips!

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Romans 8:31-32 ESV
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