The purpose of the meeting between God and the Hebrews at Mt. Sinai was clearly to establish relationship with them (see Exod. 24:1-8). . . . Christian worship is like Hebrew worship. In worship, God renews his covenant with us. In worship, our relationship to God is deepened and strengthened when the order itself represents God’s speaking to us and God’s saving us through the life, death, and resurrection of his Son.
I recorded this prayer experience in the chapel of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral. I know it’s a Catholic church and we have some theological differences, but it is a beautiful space and one that has engaging pictures and sculptures. For example, the sheaf of wheat carved into the alter table that points to Jesus being our “first fruits”.
So as the season of Lent is a time to confess our sins and become more aware of our own mortality, here is a prayer experience based on Psalm 130. For more on this prayer model, click here.
Worship is a meeting between God and his people. Like all other meetings between two people, a certain amount of form is necessary. . . . God has already established the structural ingredients needed in a meeting with him, and we cannot improve on these forms. We simply need to understand what they are and practice them in faith, believing that we really are meeting God in…Preparation [Gathering], Word, Table [Communion], and Dismissal [Sending].
As Lent begins and we head towards Easter, we are going to learn a new song called, “Resurrecting”. I was drawn to this song because of the interesting use of tense in the song’s Bridge. It presents the idea that not only did Christ rise from the dead, but he is continuing to give us life or, as the song says, continuing to resurrect us. But, it all starts with Jesus…
Vs1:The head that once was crowned with thorns
Is crowned with glory now
The Savior knelt to wash our feet
Now at His feet we bow
…see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
…at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…
Vs2:The One who wore our sin and shame
Now robed in majesty
The radiance of perfect love
Now shines for all to see
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. -Hebrews 1:3
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. –1 Corinthians 15:56-57Ch:Your name, Your name
All praise, will rise
To Christ, our king 2x
Vs3:The fear that held us now gives way
To Him who is our peace
His final breath upon the cross
Is now alive in me
free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. -Hebrews 2:15
From the ashes of defeat
The resurrected King, is resurrecting me
In Your name I come alive
To declare Your victory
The theme of “ashes” in scripture is one of defeat and grief. We see it in the book of Job when he says,
I am reduced to dust and ashes. -Job 30:19
BUT, in Jesus we have resurrection and life. Jesus said this himself…
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.-John 11:25
As I said before, notice the change in tense in the word, “resurrection”! Jesus gave us life and continues to give us life! He was resurrected from the dead and now he has and will continue to resurrect us…and our response is one of praise…
…thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. –1 Corinthians 15:57
We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.-2 Corinthians 4:10
Vs4:The tomb where soldiers watched in vain
Was borrowed for three days
His body there would not remain
Our God has robbed the grave
It seems to me that congregational [participation] cannot occur without two very basic ingredients: the congregation must understand what they are doing, and they must intend to make the responses that are part of worship. Worship is a verb.
My friend, Dan, gave me a book to read this year. I’ve added it to my daily morning readings. It’s called, “The Book of Mysteries” by Jonathan Cahn, who is a messianic Jew. It’s set up like a story. A man goes out to learn from a teacher in a small school in the desert. Each day is another lesson from the teacher. One of them connects with our theme of joy…let’s check out the “Night and Day Paradigm”. If you’re been listening to Pastor Denny’s teaching for very long, it will sound familiar…
Since God is speaking and acting in worship, response to God who speaks and acts is of great importance.
In my response, I am once again saying yes to God. As with the initial response when I first heard the word of God’s love and grace, I again respond to him in faith and love. . . . I respond to God in worship because he makes a difference in my life. . . . My response to God . . . determines my priorities in life. It puts me at peace with God, my neighbor, and my own life.
I wrote this for a specific worship service, but it’s didn’t fit. However, it seemed to fit our NIGHT TO SHINE event that is happening tonight. So, I wanted to share it. We are also continuing our study looking at Jesus’ Divinity, Humiliation and Exaltation. That makes it doubly relevant. Here we go…