Psalm 61:3

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; for You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.

Monday, December 3, 2012

We stand for Worship!

We do not gather together on Sunday mornings to worship God.

That might sound a bit extreme, but it is true, entirely biblical.  Read through the New Testament and find how many times the early Christians are told to gather for worship.  There really aren't any.

Rather Christians are told to worship God every second of every day.  They live lives of living sacrifice (Romans 12:1), living worship.  Everything that you do in life should be an act dedicated to the glory of God to the service of others.

So why get together on Sundays, or any day of the week?  If God doesn't want me to come to church and praise Him then does He want me to come at all?

YES!  But not for the reason that you might think.  God calls you into a gathering of the saints each week so that you might receive the teaching of the Apostles [found in the Bible], for fellowship, for prayers, and for the breaking of the bread [the Lord's Supper] (Acts 2:42).

In other words, God invites you each week to come and feast at His table, to receive His gifts, to be forgiven of your sins and filled with His righteousness.

He does not call you in to have you tell Him how awesome He is.  [He already knows that!]  He calls you to gather with the saints so that He might tell you what He promises you in the life, death, and resurrection of His only Son.

But isn't it a little selfish for me to come to Church just so God can give me His gifts of Word and Sacrament?

No.  It is just being honest.  Is the homeless man being selfish when he shows up at the soup kitchen?  I don't think so.

On the contrary, thinking that I have to go to church on Sunday so that I can give God something, anything, is rather arrogant.  God does not need anything from you.  So show up empty and be ready to leave filled with His Word of Promise.

Does this mean that we will not worship God in the Sunday service?  Is there no element of praise and thanksgiving?  Of course there is!  But that praise and thanksgiving is only secondary.  It springs forth naturally from the proclamation of God's Word.

A service that is only praise is basically a waste of time.  You could do much better to praise God by going out and serving your neighbor.

A service that is filled with God's Word is necessary for the Christian's faith to survive in this sin-filled world.  We need what God has to offer us in Jesus Christ.  There is no shame in showing up to get it.


1 comment:

  1. Perhaps I should mention that this is not some attempt to be "hip" or "trendy" by discarding the word "worship". I have no problem referring to Sunday morning services as worship, as long as we know what we mean when we say that.