I'm bringing to a close our series on worship we've been doing since Easter on Divine Design. We've looked at the meaning behind religious symbols, our space and even the art that surrounds us. So it make sense to consider what we do with all that? Just what does it matter? What difference does our worship make out in the real world. Paul had something to say that I think addresses these questions.
Colossians 3:14-17 GW Above all, be loving. This ties everything together perfectly. (15) Also, let Christ's peace control you. God has called you into this peace by bringing you into one body. Be thankful. (16) Let Christ's word with all its wisdom and richness live in you. Use psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to teach and instruct yourselves about God's kindness. Sing to God in your hearts. (17) Everything you say or do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
1. Be free in loving all.(14)
Paul, in talking about love, is tying together how we are hidden together in Jesus Christ and because of his love for us, we are to live certain ways. The God's Word Translation in verse 13 says: “Put up with each other, and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
When we come into worship – get over yourself.
2. Be Focused on Who you worship.(15)
We are here to worship God and let Jesus' peace have control. For those mornings it is hard to get up and get the kids going, the toilet backed-up and the dog threw up on the floor, the word is peace. For the mornings when it is raining or shining – our focus is to be on GOD = the ONE who has called you, by name, into peace. This isn't about feeling warm and fuzzy – but about assurance.
We could take a hint from the Judaism. What if we began the Sabbath, our day of rest and worship on the evening before? One of my favorite books on church life is “The Christian Handbook,” a rather tongue in cheek guide to faith. It recommends to, “shift into Sunday mode on Saturday night.” It will change your Sunday mornings for the better.
3. Be Flexible in The Ways of worship.(16)
Many of you have mentioned and noted how the hymns and spiritual songs overlap with the teaching and instructing each week. There is a reason – Heather and I plan it that way! This isn't just a contemporary worship thing, it happens in our traditional service too. Worship has many pieces and elements. Whether contemporary or traditional or blended – it is realizing there are more than one way.
|Well 3 out 4 ain't bad.|
John Wesley became flexible as he saw the Holy Spirit move. He also noted that there needed to be some guidelines, much like Paul wrote out here. What was most important and observable in early Methodists was this: Participation!
You'll find in the opening pages of the UM Hymnal these nuggets of Wesley Wisdom:
“Sing lustily and with good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead or half asleep. Above all, sing spiritually. Have an eye for God in every word you sing.”
4. Be Faithful to Always Worship.(17)
The Divine Design of worship is to take what happens in here and take it out there. “Everything you say or do should be done in the name of the Lord...” was not intended to guilt inducing BUT life altering!
The monk known as Brother Lawrence worked in the kitchen. He became known not because of how great a preacher or cook he was. He was not highly educated. In a simple little book called “The Practice ofthe Presence of God,” it is written that, “ His one desire was for communion with God. We find him worshiping more in his kitchen than in his cathedral.”
His prayer: Lord of all pots and pans and things...
Make me a saint by getting meals and washing up the plates. (pg 11).
Everything can be redeemed in this world. God's Divine Design has been in motion since the beginning of time and it continues on for all eternity. Worship, from the simple everyday to the sacred moments of the year matter. From the simple time in a rocking chair or a deer stand to a sacred chapel, family life center or sanctuary – worshiping God matters.