Ministerial Meanderings

God centered theology in a man centered world.

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland. I served in the United States Air Force for 20 years then retired. Then God led me to become a pastor. I was converted to Christ in the summer of 1966. I enjoy the company of my wife, children and grandchildren. I live with my three cats Hobbs, Taz, and Chloe.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Here I Am To Worship

One of the biggest areas where modern day American Christians fall flat is in an understanding of what is worship. Over the years, a lot has been made of the "worship wars," but those are almost exclusively about style and music. They ask questions like "Should we stay with an organ and piano or can we bring in a rock band?"

In other churches, the focus is on entertainment and putting on a show. From the opening musical note to the amen at the end, the entire church service (in these kinds of churches) is a carefully choreographed presentation. There is very little congregational involvement except to cheer on the performers.

In fact, if I were to go down the list and mention briefly all the kinds of "worship" that are out there, I would easily use a good amount of time to accomplish it. Let it suffice to say that many churches are doing all kinds of things and calling it worship, but it falls short. That is what I want to talk about in this post.

"Worship" comes from the idea of "worth-ship." It is ascribing worth to someone. In the case of Christian worship, it is ascribing worth to God. When we gather into our Sunday morning congregations, we have gathered together to meet God and acknowledge who He is. We are here (in church) to humble ourselves under His Sovereign rulership over us. We are gathered together to honor Him, glorify Him, hear Him, obey Him, and to know Him more than we did before.

Our worship services are meeting times with God. We have come into His Presence. We meet Him. In the preaching, we hear His voice, and we purpose to obey Him in what He has spoken to us through His preached Word. In so doing, we exalt Him and lift Him up as our King and Sovereign Lord. We also humble ourselves under Him, exalting Him and debasing ourselves as we see Him as He truly is (and ourselves as we truly are in comparison to Him).

I have found that people get out of worship what they expect to get. If we were to come into the Presence of the Holy One with the mindset that that was what was happening, we might more often encounter the Living God. Too often we come expecting to be entertained or some other purpose. Most come to church with every aim in mind except to meet God.

But worship is meeting God and responding appropriately. It is seeing God for who He is and seeing ourselves for who we really are, and ascribing Him the glory due to Himself, in light of who we are (compared to Him). When we come to see worship in that light, then holiness, reverential fear, and true humility will pervade our church services. Then and only then, will people see us and know that we are the people of God.


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