Summary: Worship - How God meets us through the event of worship in the high points, as well as the valleys, of our lives.
Let Us Worship And Bow Down (III):
Waiting For God
CALVIN CHRISTIAN REFORMED CHURCH
Kids - know what this is? Have you studied these in school? Magnets - something really interesting about them: even though it is one solid object there are two very opposite forces at work. One at each end -- the north pole and south pole of the magnet. Each with its own type of force. Life can often be like this magnet -- even though it is all one life, it has experiences that are exactly the opposite, sometimes:
birth and death
peace and struggle
growth and decay
richness and poverty
summer and winter.
from one pole to the other – opposites -- and all wrapped up in our one experience of life.
Mike Westra is going to read two poems from the Bible for us, ones that are, in some sense, opposites, growing out of very different corners of life experience. Psalm 130, the first poem, speaks of deep suffering.
Psalm 131, seems to reflect a life that is rather put together, at peace.
And yet - different though they are - there is something critical which holds them together;
a common truth that they share.
See if you can find that truth as Mike reads them:
PSALM 130 P.706
Perhaps you noticed the sub-heading for these psalms:
“A song of Ascents.”
There’s a whole group of these songs, Psalms 120-134, used by ancient believers “on their way up” to worship God in the Temple. Hence: ascents.
Songs sung while on the road, traveling towards Jerusalem, climbing the hillsides which led to the city.
Songs of ascent – going up to meet God in the upbuilding, uplifting, upward oriented experience of worship with other believers in the Temple.
People going to worship in ancient times were no different than people who worship today – people like you and me.
They were people who experienced pain and failure.
They were people who had life chapters of quiet peace and wholeness.
Both spinning madly around the lives of worshipers, ancient and contemporary.
Yanking them first in this direction
and then in that direction
Sometimes, perhaps, leaving them feeling as if they were being ripped in two. Except for the one thing that held their lives in equilibrium, kept them from falling apart or going under.
And that is the power and presence of God in their lives.
Their trips to the temple, their times of going up to regular worship, helped get that all back into perspective.
That’s the theme I asked you to look for, the one which ties these two psalms together. The theme of:
“waiting on the Lord,” as Psalm 130:5 puts it.
“hoping in the Lord”, as Psalm 131:3 puts it.
To say that I’m “waiting on the Lord”, a la Psalm 130, is another way of saying that I crave the presence of God, a presence where I can be –
refreshed instead of drained;
directed instead of confused.
Same idea is found in another Psalm, 22:10:
“I have relied on you since the day I was born, and You have always been my God. Do not stay away from me!”
Oh Yannick. Oh Christopher – may this be true in your lives!
May you grow to crave, seek, focus on, desire.....
.... wait for...... hope in.....
Which is the essence of what worship is all about.
It is the centre of what drives us here each Sunday morning and evening.
God calls us together - His Holy Spirit is present, inviting us. Different actions, including those of Bible study, song, quiet moments, baptism – they become means though which God speaks to, touches and encourages us.
Feeds our faith. Deepens our trust.
Computer-wise, we’d say that worship is the weekly chance to hit the reset button. Clears the memory banks and restores us for another week.
Worship: God calls us and speaks to us. And then we have the chance to respond to Him, to reach out to Him......
sometimes as desperate, needy people;
and sometimes as content and happy people.
Worshipping God in the dark moments -
It happens, doesn’t it? We come trudging through these doors, hoping we can hold it together but not really sure about it;
feeling pretty beaten up by the week past.
When you feel like this, don’t ever think that you’re alone. Somewhere along the way we all experience it. We can relate to the words of Psalm 69.
Save me, O God!
The water is up to my neck;
I am sinking in deep mud, and there is no solid ground;