At First Church, our mission is to make Christlike disciples. One of the ways we pursue this mission is to worship together. We gather to proclaim God’s “worth-ship,” to glorify Him and enjoy Him. We express to God, and remind each other, just how good and great and present He is.
Jesus, our example and teacher, urged us to approach Almighty God this way:
Our Father in heaven,
may Your name be hallowed, sanctified, glorified, and honored,
may Your Kingdom come and
Your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven
(Matthew 6:9-10, paraphrase).
He taught us that our central duty is to
Love the Lord your God
with all your inner life,
with every aspect of your being, and
with everything you have and control
(Matthew 22:37, paraphrase).
As we worship Him this way, things are put right between Him and us. We recognize Him for who He is and ourselves for who we are. And we anticipate the day when all creation flows in full, unbroken harmony with Him.
Worship is far more than telling God how great He is, though that is vital. How did Jesus, our example, worship the Father? His worship was not one hour a week filled with singing, praying, giving, listening, and responding. His worship was a life full of faith, love, obedience, active compassion, and glad self-giving. That was how He proclaimed His Father’s goodness, greatness, and presence in the world.
Such a life is how we worship Him as well. Our weekly services are designed to nurture that life, that relationship. The Spirit of Jesus meets with us and in us to draw us to the Father. As we are led by the Spirit, we share in the love and unity of the Father and Son. With Jesus, we worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth (John 4:24). We worship, not just with our lips, but with our hearts (Matthew 15:8). We love Him not just with words, but with actions (1 John 3:18). We offer our bodies to Him as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, for that alone is our true and proper worship (Romans 12:1).
Our one hour gathered together is designed to prepare us for an entire week overflowing with joyful, living, loving worship.
*article originally released on September 7, 2014*