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.
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.
Worship is not for the purpose of remembering the Reformation, hailing the founding of America, saluting mothers, boy scouts, girl scouts, or grandparents. Worship does not celebrate Independence Day, Memorial Day, or Labor Day.
Worship remembers the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. . . . All that goes into an actual service of worship must pertain to the event of God revealing himself to us, becoming incarnate in our history, and redeeming us from the power of the evil one, setting us free to enjoy him forever.
I’ve been thinking about the ways that we live out JOY in our lives. One of the ways we do that as believer is through praising God. That could be through singing, but it doesn’t have to be. But when we PRAISE GOD, we are living our his role for us in creation AND finding a better quality of life. Let’s talk and drive…
This past weekend, we finished our year-long study of 1 Corinthians. Because we studied Ch 15 ever Easter, we skipped it now. However, I wrote a spoken word piece paraphrasing the chapter. We had three actors read it at the top of our service to provide continuity in our study and to lead us into Holy Communion.
Here is my attempt to give a new voice to 1 Corinthians 15:12-28.
IF HE DIDN’T/BUT HE DID
If some say Christ rose, how can you say, “no”?
If he didn’t rise, then Christ is still brought low.
If he didn’t rise, it doesn’t matter what we believe or say.
Even more, we are liars, for we preach, “Jesus, The Way”.
If he didn’t rise, the dead will stay dead.
If he didn’t rise, Christ lies on his tomb’s bed.
And if he didn’t rise, your faith is empty, you’re full of sin,
And those who have already been…
If only for now we hope in Christ, we’re pathetic…
…and we too are lost.
Christ has risen, he is the first who, in death, sleep.
For since a man damned us, a man will also raise us.
For since Adam killed us, so our Christ must
give us life, but him first then you and me.
And in the end, with all power and authority,
defeating all dominions with his final breath,
He hands the Father a kingdom, defeating even death.
Then the Father, who put everything under the Son,
will have His will done.
And the Son, will put everything under the Father
so we will see God is our history’s author.
Praise our God, three-in-one.
All glory to Christ, the Risen one.
Response, from the very beginning of worship to the end, must be a powerful inner experience of actually being in the presence of God. When we sing a hymn or say a confession or prayer, we are not singing or saying words, but expressing a feeling, bringing our souls, truly responding and communicating to the loving and active presence of a loving and merciful God.
Response is a necessary element in the communication that takes place at worship. It is the complement to God’s speaking and acting. . . . Worship cannot take place without our response to God himself…our innermost selves reach out to him.