Monday, December 17, 2018

Blog

Share your stories and ideas with the network as you respond to crisis and disaster.

Remember the commercial "Where's the beef?" As Christians living in an increasingly complex world, do we need to ask ourselves "Where is the reverence in our worship today?"

Growing up in the church my family attended and served in with distinction, we had what some would call distinct church customs which I remember well such as donning a hat before entering the sanctuary several minutes early before the service started; sitting quietly in prayer until the congregation began its opening hymn; bowing before the cross when in procession or when we passed it; handing our hymnal to the new person seated next to us; wearing our best dress; kneeling during prayer; standing for the reading of God’s word; and departing the sanctuary only when the cross had receded down the aisle. My parents and grandparents were church leaders so they were either teaching a Sunday school class, ushering, reading Scripture, counting the attendees, or back in the kitchen preparing a fine meal to encourage others who were visiting. When my grandmother died there were over 150 cars in the funeral processional because she was so loved as a member of her church family with her selfless service! My grandfather would get up early every Wednesday to lead the Bible study lesson and be in church very early helping with Sunday worship.

 The heart behind of all those activities was a love of God, a worship of the One who is worthy of all praise, honor, respect, adoration and reverence. The subjective adoration of someone who exceeds personal excellence, who deserves deep acts of respect and praise, is still the same yesterday, today and tomorrow – Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalm 122 gives us a picture of true reverence for God and expresses the joy of going into the house of worship for the believer:

I was glad when they said to me,

“Let us go into the house of the Lord.”

Our feet have been standing

Within your gates, O Jerusalem!

 

Jerusalem is built

As a city that is compact together,

Where the tribes go up,

The tribes of the Lord,

To the Testimony of Israel,

To give thanks to the name of the Lord,

For thrones are set there for judgment,

The thrones of the house of David.

 

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem.

“May they prosper who love you,

Peace be within your walls,

Prosperity within your palaces.”

For the sake of my brethren and companions,

I will now say, “Peace BE within you,”

Because of the house of the Lord our God

I will seek your good.

 

What does reverent worship look like in Bible believing churches today?

Today how do we honor The Lord in our houses of worship?

Why do we worship?

 The Holy Scripture reminds us we should be glad when the day of worship arrives and go into His sanctuary with thanksgiving and praise. The Psalmist reminds us our feet are on hollowed ground and there is safety and refuge there. Whether “our tribes” friends, family or others are there with us praising Him, we are to have an attitude of reverence and honor. This worship time should be one of confession because the house of the Lord reminds us where we have fallen short of His grace and to seek His mercy anew. The Psalmist reminds us to pray for Jerusalem, why? Because the city represents His coming again to bring truce peace on earth and good will toward men. Without His coming there will be no peace. And, going into the house of the Lord reminds us His promises are true, lasting and enduring forever. It is also a place where we do not just seize upon refuge, but demonstrate our concern for others who need His peace as well. It is a place where we recommit to follow in His footsteps seeking to do no harm, to do good unto other, and to continue to fall in love with the Christ the Giver of abundant Life, eternal Peace, and everlasting Hope, as John Wesley said to those who were worshipping in the open air because he was prohibited from entering the house of the Lord in England. (Paraphrased).

 It is a call to reverent worship of the One who is worthy that the ministry of Christian Emergency Network continues each day. Christians who are biblically ready to love their neighbor in and out of crisis have an attitude of grateful worship, acknowledge only through Jesus are we able to live in a peaceful place despite our circumstances. Christians who are biblically ready to share the Good news of Jesus Christ with the hopeless and helpless have allowed God to examine their hearts anew for any attitude of rebellion or disobedience and they are steadfast in their commitment to serve others in a way that will lead them to the transformational love of Christ.

The Bible is very clear, there is a Biblical standard to being a ReadyChristian - one who will do no harm, do good, and reverence Him daily.


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