Worship forms me spiritually. Worship not only presents Christ, it causes Christ to be formed in my life. The structure of worship is itself the structure of life—words and deeds. When I am thoroughly involved in worship I not only hear and see, but I become…To be formed by worship is to take on the characteristics of Christ, to be shaped by his presence within.

-Robert Webber, Worship Is a Verb: Celebrating God’s Mighty Deeds of Salvation, Second Edition

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Worship is Being Sent Out…

At Emmanuel, we usually end our services with a benediction from a pastor or a short scripture reading.  Why do we do that?  Why can’t we just say, “We’ll see you next week.  Peace out!”  Good question!  Let’s talk…

 

Scriptures read and preached forms my entire life in the world—personal, family, vocation, ethical. In this way worship sets the world in order, educates me about my place in it, and inspires me to understand God’s ways of dealing with me and with his people.

-Robert Webber, Worship Is a Verb: Celebrating God’s Mighty Deeds of Salvation, Second Edition

Worship is Lament AND Praise

6 years ago, we lost my son. Since then, we’ve been on a journey through lament (expressing our pain to God), mercy, healing, joy and praise. I think this is the process God wants for all of us. As Psalm 126 says, “Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.”

Also, here is a copy of the “Psalm 142 Spoken Word”:

Psalm 142 Spoken Word

Lord, I am crying aloud to you.

Lord, I am lifting my voice

Because I have no choice,

but to cry for mercy.

I am pouring out my heart,

I am pouring out my trouble,

Amidst the rubble

of confusion and complaint.

Now when my spirit is faint inside of me.

It is you who watches my way

Even when evil tries to lay

A snare for my feet.

There is no friend beside me;

Lord, look and see,
no one is concerned for me.
I have no safety for my soul;

It feels like no one cares for my life.

Lord, I am crying out to you.

Lord, you guard my heart

And I know this is all apart

Of living in your loving life.

So listen to my heart’s cry,
for I am in desperate need;
rescue me from fears that feed

On my soul, for they are too strong.

Set me free from my prison of pain,
that I may praise your holy name.

that the righteous who came

to comfort me, will praise You…

Because of your goodness,

Because of your goodness,

Because of your goodness, Jesus,

…to me.

[The end of the service] is more than a signal that the time of worship is over. It is the beginning of service in the world. . . . [We] need to give careful thought to the words and actions that send God’s people into the world.

-Robert Webber, Worship Is a Verb: Celebrating God’s Mighty Deeds of Salvation, Second Edition

Worship Is Identity

Much of the time, we think about worship in terms of what we do.  We sing, we listen, we read, we pray, we give, we serve, we do…do…do…do.  But first, worship is our identity in Christ.  Let’s talk…

Worship Is Singing

If you know me, you know that I believe all of life is worship, but singing is also worship! Think about it, besides 50 commands to sing, the Bible would be a lot thinner without any singing or songs in it. So let’s talk…why do believers sing?

If worship is about ‘ascribing worth’, then it’s easy to see where worship goes wrong. Adam and Eve think what they’ll gain from the fruit is of greater worth than what they have with God…

As sinless image bearers, Adam and Eve were part of creation’s perpetual testimony to the worthiness – the goodness, glory, brilliance and beauty – of God’s handiwork. As soon as they sinned, the broke rank with that testimony, choosing to exalt and serve their own glory.

-Mike Cosper, Rhythms of Grace

New Song: Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)

One of the goals of our worship is to tell and retell the story of Jesus.  It’s not an original idea.  This is what the first disciples of Jesus did 2,000 years ago.  It’s also what Christians were doing way back in 1910.  In fact, the lyrics for our new song, Glorious Day,  are taken from the hymn “One Day” by John Wilbur Chapman, composed in 1910.  It’s the same retelling of the glorious gospel.

And, in God’s grace, there is more than one glorious day.  There is everyday (including right now!) that heaven is full of praise.  There is the day Jesus was born.  There is the day he died to save us.  There is the day he rose from the grave and there is the day he is coming again.  For all those days we sing, “Oh, glorious day!”

But, jumping in, where do we read about the praise of heaven?  I’m glad you asked!  Isaiah 6:2-4 says,

Above [the LORD] were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.  

And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
    the whole earth is full of his glory.”

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

That is what happened the day Isaiah showed up in heaven, but we assume that has been, is now and will be happening until eternity!  But then the bad news…

Vs1: One day when Heaven was filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be

Sin ruined everything.  I think that it’s important to remember that sin is a heart issue that we all struggle with and it manifests itself outwardly in all our actions.  That is why the Bible says this:

There is no soundness in my bones because of my sin.  My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear. -Psalm 38:3b-4

Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. -Psalm 51:5

We are all infected and impure with sin.  When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. -Isaiah 64:6 NLT

But the song continues with the good news (it almost reads like a creed, doesn’t it!)…

Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin 
Dwelt among men, my example is He

CH: Living, He loved me (John 3:16John 15:912Galatians 2:20)
Dying, He saved me John 3:17John 10:11
Buried, He carried my sins far away Psalm 103:12Isaiah 43:25Isaiah 44:22Micah 7:19Romans 6:6-7
Rising, He justified freely forever Romans 3:21-26Romans 4:25Romans 8:3-4
One day He’s coming John 14:1-3Acts 1:9-111 Thessalonians 4:16Revelation 22:12, 20
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

As you can see, there is almost too much scripture to list to fit it all in.  This song basically tells the story of redemption from beginning to end.  It answers the question, “But what is the rest of the story?!?”  It does that by continuing with Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection and 2nd coming!

Vs 2: One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He

Vs 3: One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now He’s ascended, my Lord evermore

Vs 4: One day the trumpet will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my Beloved Ones, bringing
A glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine

So which day was more glorious?  The day Jesus was born?  The day he died for the sins of the world?  The day he rose victorious?  Or everyday that heaven is filled with God’s praises?  I’m don’t know.  But it makes me want to sing with believers from all of history…

Oh, Glorious day, Oh, Glorious day.