Friday, September 11, 2009

Thoughts on Worship

Today's devotions included Revelation 16. I've been using Conversations, The Message Bible With Its Translator by Eugene H. Peterson for my devotions. This version includes authors notes and reflections throughout the text. I'm including the following, which is a note from the author. I could not find any information at the front of the book to indicate whether a direct quote of the author's notes requires written permission or not. It does specify that one can quote scripture, up to 500 verses, without written permission, so I'm going to work under that premise.
The celebrated negotiations between Moses and Pharaoh had a single theme: worship. Moses' opening petition to Pharaoh was "Free my people so that they can hold a festival for [God] in the wilderness" Exodus 5:1; "Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness so we can worship our God" (verse 3). Moses' task was to lead his people in worship. Pharaoh's sin was that he prevented them. The judgment plagues are visited over this issue, and this issue alone. The greatest evil that people of faith face from the outside is the obstruction of worship. The greatest evil that they face from the inside is the subversion of worship. This is what we have most to fear. Conversations, The Message Bible With Its Translator pg 1971

Let's take a long hard look at our worship services. Are they truly worship services? worshipping God? or are they just what we do on Sunday morning?
Are the songs we sing heartfelt praise and worship of God? or are they what we routinely sing, just plodding along?
I know for some folks, singing the traditional hymns are worship, for some it's just plodding along. For me personally, I enjoy some of the "old" hymns, but for the most part, I feel the "KLOVE" songs, as we call them, are much more worshipful. That's what works for me, it may not be your method.

One Sunday, when I was filling the pulpit, I started by asking folks for a show of hands; "How many of you have ever left a Sunday morning worship service and said "I just didn't get anything out of that"?" I lifted my hand, because I've done that a number of times. Then I told them (and myself) that we were wrong. The reason we were in church was not primarily to be "refilled" or "recharged", we were there to offer praise and worship to the King of Kings!

Unfortunately, I find myself forgetting that. I need to be intentional about worshiping God in our worship service, and I need to remind the rest of the church of the true purpose.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.
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