Summary: Part 5 of a series on worship.


Psalm 95

March 5, 2017

Have you ever noticed that sometimes we do things for a reason, but many times we really don’t know the reason? Sometimes we don’t recognize how our decisions are predicated on past events which we’re totally clueless about.

For example, and I’ll tell you upfront there is disagreement about these facts, but as I did some research, I think there is some validity. So here you go - - -

When you consider the United States space program, especially the space shuttle program, each lift off needed rocket boosters to carry the space shuttle into space. The boosters deliver enormous power - - - -they weigh more than 2 million pounds at takeoff, they produce 6.6 million pounds of thrust. That’s the equivalent of 32 - - - 747's all applying their take-off thrust at the same time! In only two minutes, they carry the astronauts 28 miles away from the earth, spending all of their fuel in the process. (Source: Jim Banke’s article on, “Interactive Space Shuttle: The Boosters.”

But remember, this story is about decisions we make today, based on the past, not knowing the reasons.

The boosters are manufactured and refurbished by a company in Utah, which then ships the boosters to Florida for the space launches via train. So, the boosters must be able to fit on a rail car that travels along railroad tracks. And those tracks are exactly 4 feet, 8.5 inches wide. So, the space shuttle, like those boosters, if you’re going to get that part from Utah to Florida, you’ve got to know that the measurement of 4 feet, 8.5 inches wide is a critically important measurement.

But why would our railroad tracks measure such an odd width?

Historians disagree on this one, but part of the story for some of why our railroad tracks are this measurement is because the English made their tracks exactly that wide. Early on in the railroad industry, we relied on the English about the railroad.

Why did the English make their tracks 4 feet, 8.5 inches wide? Because the English engineers of the 19th century used the standard wagon width that had been used in Europe since the Romans built their roadways, which were 4 feet, 8.5 inches wide.

And why that width? Because, historians say, Roman trial and error found that an official chariot or wagon would work best while being powered by two horses, and those two horses, measured from the back end of the horses - - - - was ideally 4 feet, 8.5 inches.

Are you getting this? Bottom line is this - - - The most impressive travel in all of human history, blasting off from Cape Canaveral, this incredible feat of space travel, is, in effect, affected by the tape measure draped over the rear end of a pair of Roman horses.

You see, our railroad system is based on this, and actually it’s one of the reasons it’s believed the South lost the Civil War. They had 3 different measurements for their railroads.

My point in all of this - - - - the decisions we make today, are often the result of the past. And the decisions we make tomorrow will have a longer lasting impact than we ever could have imagined.

That’s why there’s such a tie between where we’ve been, and where we’re going, and as we’re looking at worship, we need to understand much of what we do is based on the past. Most of what we want in worship is based on what we perceive.

Let me add one other point, I’m sitting at Panera typing this, and there are 2 men, one about 75, who’s a regular, the other is about 45, they don’t know each other, and they are arguing about politics, to the point where the 75 year old says he’s going to punch the other guy, who’s bigger. I’m just smiling and shaking my head as this is going on.

My point - - - we are a product of our past and we come into every conversation, every moment of our lives is shaped from who we are.

We do the same in worship. We come here with certain expectations. But are they really helpful or hurtful expectations about worship?

The psalmist tells us this is Psalm 95 ~

1 Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

2 Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song.

The psalmist tells us to COME! He does not say “come if you feel like it, come if you’re in the mood, come if you know you’re going to sing what you like.”

NOPE! The command is to come! Come into the house of God and sing for joy. Shout out with joy to God, who is the Rock of our salvation. Sing to Him, giving thanks and praise to God for all He has done in our lives.

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