Summary: Our congregational worship involves glory to God.
1. There is an old French proverb that says, "A good meal ought to begin with hunger." It is hard to enjoy a good meal when you are not hungry, but when you are starving anything tastes good! The same is true with worship. When we approach worship with a hunger for God, starving for a spiritual connection with Him we will always be fulfilled and satisfied. On the other hand, if we enter into worship with little or no appetite for God, then we will leave with having never tasted of Hs majesty and goodness. In Matthew 5.6 Jesus gives as one of the beatitudes, "Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled." This hunger is a need for God, a deep inner longing for Him.
2. Another aspect of our vision and mission is to glorify God in worship
3. John 17.1-5
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
4. Worship’ (Old English ‘weorthscipe’=‘worth-ship’) originally referred to the action of human beings in expressing homage to God because he is worthy of it. It covers such activities as adoration, thanksgiving, prayers of all kinds, the offering of sacrifice and the making of vows.
a. He is worthy, we are needy
b. It is our response to a gracious God
5. Revelation 4.8-11
8 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,
“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!”
9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.”
I. Worship is not
A. A Matter of Extremes
1. Ceremonial-Casual – Mix of Awe and Family (GOD and Our Father)
2. Intellect – Emotion (Deuteronomy 6.4 – heart = emotion and mind)
Worship without Understanding
There was a woman who spent some months serving as a missionary in South Africa. On her final visit to a remote township she attended a medical clinic. As the Zulu women there began to sing together, she found herself deeply moved by their hauntingly beautiful harmonies. She wanted to always remember this moment and try to share it with friends when she arrived home. With tears flowing down her cheeks, she turned to her friend and asked, "Can you please tell me the translation of the words to this song?"
Her friend looked at her and solemnly replied . . . "If you boil the water, you won't get dysentery."
How many times have we been guilty of the same thing in a worship service? No, not of singing that particular song, but of singing (and perhaps even being moved emotionally) without being aware of the meaning of the words we were singing.
Paul said, "I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding." (I Corinthians 14:15).
The melody may be beautiful, but it is the lyrics which give our songs meaning. Pay careful attention to what is being said.
B. Ritual or Superstition (Matthew 6.7-13 –praying)
1. Do Exactly the Right Things
2. Say Exactly the Right Words (magic words)
Hocus Pocus "In all probability those common juggling words of hocus pocus are nothing else but a corruption of hoc est corpus, by way of ridiculous imitation of the priests of the Church of Rome in their trick of Transubstantiation."
C. Accidental – It is Intentional – Romans 12.1
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
D. Limited to a Time and Place