Summary: how to worship

Worship 101

John 4:21-24

In Vancouver today, there is something stirring… the Queen’s visit. Excitement about it. On the news when the Queen arrived in Iqaluit, Nunavut, she was driven around in an SUV. Because of the height of the SUV, it was difficult for her to get off the vehicle. But the people there didn’t know what to do, should they approach her majesty and help her out … Today many too I believe are frustrated with their experience with the majestic presence of God…

February 19, 2001, George Barna noted that 92% of church goers in his survey say worship is very important to them. But it is seems many are experiencing frustration about it… "Without giving themselves time to clear their minds and hearts of their daily distractions and other problems, many people attend a worship event but never enter a worshipful frame of mind. A large share of churchgoers do not pray, meditate, confess or focus on God prior to the start of a church worship event. One consequence is that they find it difficult to connect with Him spiritually. Having never been taught much about worship, they find the inability to interact with God on a deeper level frustrating, but don’t know what to do about it."

Today I want to address that problem… let’s learn about worship, shall we?

In 1961 there was a pastor whose name is A.W. Tozer. He wrote these words: “Worship is the missing jewel of the evangelical church”. It is now 2002. Four decades have gone by since Tozer wrote that. And it is still ringing true, if Barna’s study is right. Today, many are confused or frustrated with connecting spiritually to God. If there’s anything Christian today need more… is to revisit and revitalize this whole area of the worship of God.

A guy named Pete gets a job as a switchman with the railroad, and he had weeks of training. Finally the day came, and the supervisor takes him into the switch booth to test his readiness. The following conversation takes place:

Supervisor: "Imagine you were sitting here alone and you learned there was a train coming from the North on that track, and another coming from the South on the same track. What would you do?"

Pete: "I’d throw this switch right here and put one train on the other track."

Supervisor: And what if that switch didn’t work?"

Pete: "I’d go down to the track and throw that big switch lever there, putting one train on the other track."

Supervisor: "And what if that switch lever didn’t work?"

Pete: "Then I’d come back here and call the dispatcher to stop both trains."

Supervisor: "And what if the phone didn’t work?"

Pete: "Then I’d go to that gas station across the street and use their phone."

Supervisor: "And what if their phone didn’t work?"

Pete: "Then I’d go get Uncle Joe."

Supervisor: "Uncle Joe??? What would he do?"

Pete: "Nothing, but he ain’t never seen a train wreck."

Many worshippers of God are kind of like Pete. They look into their training to connect with God, and but for them it sort of feels like a train wreck. Often we feel like that didn’t work, this didn’t work too in our lives…

1. First thing, we need to know about worship is: God is more interested in this topic than we are.

From the very beginning, the Bible is clear, from cover to cover, the whole book is about God, the worship of Him.

“God created man in his own image,

in the image of God he created him;

male and female he created them. “ Genesis 1:27

Thus, the implication is… If we are disconnected with God, there is something missing. It seems we are made to connect with the Creator.

Then the end of the Bible, the book of Revelation is all about worship – there are songs and more songs recorded there, scenes of staggering earth-shaking worship, cries of “holy, holy, holy”. Then you open the Bible in middle of the book you’ll find the book of Psalms filled with worship of God.

If our lives feel out of whack, could it be due to the fact we are missing the essential ingredient of life the Bible speaks of: our connection with God. And boy do we not feel it? No wonder as, Vera Nicholas-Gervais an Ottawa-based professional coach whose passion is helping women have what they truly want in their lives, detected - “Stress has become a hallmark of our times. Pick up any magazine and you’re bound to find an article about ways to beat stress — ranging from tranquil bubble baths behind locked doors to spa getaways.” Is that not the way the world is?

You can sense it from the way people talked about their retirement savings, which seems to be dwindling due to the stock market freefall. You sense it as people read the news, and hear the US planning to attack Iraq, the health care problems in Canada, see people killed because of illegal street races, families struggling with their out of control kids etc. There is something in us that protest, we were not made for this… we were not made for this rubbish! Are we not more than just molecules that happen by chance, we are not designed for this, are we?

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