Summary: How should we worship? Nine Biblical characters debate what worship should look like. This was an intro to a series based on Gary Thomas’ "Sacred Pathways" and Richard Foster’s "Streams of Living Water"
How Broad Is The Kingdom Of God: Series Introduction
various Scriptures Jan 8, 2006
• “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19
• “David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might.” 2 Sam 6:14
• “Ahab went to meet Elijah. When he saw Elijah, he said to him, "Is that you, you troubler of Israel?" "I have not made trouble for Israel," Elijah replied. "But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the LORD’s commands and have followed the Baals. Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table."” 1 Kings 18:17-19
• “1 (God said): "Now, (Ezekiel) son of man, take a clay tablet, put it in front of you and draw the city of Jerusalem on it. 2 Then lay siege to it: Erect siege works against it, build a ramp up to it, set up camps against it and put battering rams around it. 3 Then take an iron pan, place it as an iron wall between you and the city and turn your face toward it. It will be under siege, and you shall besiege it. This will be a sign to the house of Israel… 9 "Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself. You are to eat it during the 390 days you lie on your side. 10 Weigh out twenty shekels [b] of food to eat each day and eat it at set times. 11 Also measure out a sixth of a hin [c] of water and drink it at set times. 12 Eat the food as you would a barley cake; bake it in the sight of the people, using human excrement for fuel."” Ezekiel 4:1-3, 9-12
• “The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your offspring I will give this land." So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him. From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD.” (a chapter later…) “So Abram moved his tents and went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he built an altar to the LORD.” Genesis 12:7-8; 13:18
• “Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This girl, who was also known as Esther, was lovely in form and features, and Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.” Esther 2:7
• “1In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea 2and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." 3This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: "A voice of one calling in the desert, ’Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ " 4John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.” Matt 3:1-4
• One of the Psalmists wrote: “3 Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars. 4 Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. 5 Let them praise the name of the LORD, for he commanded and they were created. 6 He set them in place for ever and ever; he gave a decree that will never pass away. 7 Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, 8 lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, 9 you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, 10 wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds” Psalm 148:3-10
• “God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore.” 1 Kings 4:29
What’s The Connection?
By now, no doubt, most of you are trying to figure out what those nine passages of Scripture have in common; what those nine people share that would merit their inclusion in my introduction. So let me tell you: nothing.
In fact, it gets even worse. Imagine with me, for a moment, that those nine Biblical characters were all a part of the same church. The church called a meeting to talk about how to conduct the next week’s worship service… and these nine people came. Let’s imagine the conversation: