During September I will preach a brief four sermon series of sermons on Worship. Sometime in 2015 I will spend a great deal more time on Worship, talking about it in greater depth. I will devote fourteen weeks on the subject. And in doing so, I will only have scratched the surface on this subject.
“Why?” you may ask, would we do this? Let me start to answer that question right here. I know the boundaries of this article will not suffice, but it will be a start.
We worship as Christians because if we know the living God, we cannot help but to worship. For to know God is to know my own poverty of mind and soul. It is to know the majesty and awesomeness of the Creator. It is to know my impure and filthy moral character in the light of pure truth and undivided moral purity. And most importantly, to know the living God is to have been touched by overwhelming kindness, mercy, forgiveness and grace. And even if one has never met God in a divine encounter of God’s Awesomeness, there is something in every soul created that secretly longs for him, and yearns for what only God can fulfill.
Second, we worship because the Scriptures instruct to do so. The Psalms are filled with calls for God’s people to worship. See Psalm 8, which begins, “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.” Psalm 81 begins, “Sing for joy to God our strength; shout aloud to the God of Jacob! Begin the music, strike the tambourine, play the melodious harp and lyre…” The Psalms are filled with hymns, songs, confessions, praise, calls for response to the goodness of the LORD. In the New Testament we have the example of Jesus and his family going to the Temple to worship and Jesus entering the Synagogues where there was prayer, the reading of scripture, the receiving of offerings, expounding of the scriptures and more. In Hebrews 10:25, the author urges believers not to “give up the habit of meeting together as some are in the habit of doing.”
And finally (for this article), we worship because by doing so we build up the Body of Christ, for living the Christ life as we go out in the world. Our worship together is the embodiment of Christ. Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered in my name. there I am in the midst of them.” The Bible clearly teaches that the Christian faith is not lived in isolation. It is lived in community and in relationship to the other members of the Body, When different parts of Christ’s Body come together, the Holy Spirit does it’s best work. And through that work of the Spirit, a midst the Body both transforms the Body and through them will help to fulfill Christ’s purpose to redeem the whole world.
I urge you to pray about the place of worship in your life, in the life of our family of faith here at Blue Ridge UMC and in congregations across the earth.
Let’s Worship together,