I have come to understand that worship is a celebration of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ . . . I now love to be at worship and to experience again and again the reality of Christ. Worship is a celebration that puts me in touch with the truth that shapes my whole life, and I have found it to be a necessary element for my own spiritual formation.
Worship challenges secularism because it establishes a relationship with God and sets the world in order. In worship, the good news is happening again. It reaffirms the reality of God, the significance of life, and the worth of the human person.
Worship lifts the worshiper out of drudgery and brings meaning to life. Worship links the worshiper with that common set of memories which belong to the Christian family. The memory of Christ and the connection with Christian people throughout history and around the world is made though the celebration of those sacred events of the church year. This happens in every weekly celebration.
True worship stands in opposition to the secular trend that repudiates the supernatural. Secularization says all that is, is what is. It argues that there is nothing outside of human existence to give life meaning or value. The secular attitude insists that humans are left to create their own meaning, value, and identity. But in the celebration of the Christ-event, worship affirms the supernatural, sanctions the past, and creates confidence in the future.
Biblical worship is rooted in an event that is to be lived, not proven. . . . In Christian worship we are not merely asked to believe in Jesus Christ, but to live, die, and be resurrected again with him. Life is not an intellectual construct, but a journey of death and rebirth. When our life story is brought up into the story of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, it then gains meaning and purpose.
Our culture makes it difficult to experience worship as a means of putting us into contact with the supernatural. . . . There was a time when the idea of mystery was more a part of our thinking. . . . In the prescientific world truth in worship was conveyed in a performative rather than in an intellectual way. Images were important forms of communication. Metaphor, symbol, festivity, drama, and gesture were accepted ways of handing down the work of Christ.
Our worship each week is meant to be a time of grand celebration—celebration of the living, dying, and rising again of Jesus for our salvation and for the salvation of the world. . . . It brings the past into the present by telling and acting out the work of Christ.
…God has given us vehicles of time, space, sound and movement as ways of experiencing our encounter with God. In this way all creation not only serves as a vehicle for worship, but actually joins in the praises of God.
I discovered this poem and it touched me deeply. I don’t know the situation or the circumstances that birthed these words, but I resonate with them. The joining of grief, art, faith, lament, hope…
Echo of the clocktower, footstep
in the alleyway, sweep
of the wind sifting the leaves.
Jeweller of the spiderweb, connoisseur
of autumn’s opulence, blade of lightning
harvesting the sky.
Keeper of the small gate, choreographer
of entrances and exits, midnight
whisper travelling the wires.
Seducer, healer, deity or thief,
I will see you soon enough—
in the shadow of the rainfall,
in the brief violet darkening a sunset—
but until then I pray watch over him
as a mountain guards its covert ore
and the harsh falcon its flightless young.