People of the Spirit, worshiping Jesus in all places, at all times

Christians talk all the time about the content of worship: prayers, music, sermon, Scripture reading, Eucharist, etc. and how they should be done. In the West, most often when a decision about church commitment is being made, it comes down to a question of whether we enjoy worshipping the way that church worships. The aesthetics of worship dominate our thinking (which is sad, given we have no theological foundation for our aesthetics most of the time). And we let it to the exclusion of actually realizing what is happening when Jesus’ people are gathered together.

Worship is a Trinitarian activity. Because when we gather for worship, we’re entering the scene of heaven’s adoration. We join the angels in singing the praises of God. We join the elders and living creatures in bowing before the throne, forever declaring the worthiness of God. But there’s an even more awesome event taking place in worship: the Spirit is exalting the Son to the glory of the Father. All creation – in heaven and on earth – has the privilege of witnessing this Divine act of adoration.

When we recognize worship for what it is, and our call to surrender to the Living God, we honor the Spirit. When we are worshipping in the Spirit, we are participating in exalting Jesus for his saving work. When we worship in the Truth, we are giving all glory to the Father. Worship is where we join God’s self-exaltation, where we join the Divine dance, and become who we were made to be: united with God in Christ through the Spirit.

Brothers and sisters, this isn’t a “work”that we do. It’s a divine promise. If you enter the assembly of God’s people, you are not far from the Kingdom. Embrace the promise of God to unite you to Himself. Put your faith in the promise that where the Word goes out, His Spirit is at work in your midst. Know that if you raise your voices and your arms, it is not an act of your strength, but the power of the Spirit. Know that when you receive the Lord’s Body and Blood, you are partaking and proclaiming His death until He comes. Receive the promises of God, and God will be glorified.

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Comments on: "What happens in worship?" (2)

  1. Paragraph two is pretty breath-taking. Great article!

  2. […] I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: In worship,  the Spirit is exalting the Son to the glory of the Father. And we get to be there. We’re invited to participate. We’re invited to join in this divine rehearsal and know God the Spirit, know God the Son, and know God the Father — to know God, in part, anticipating the day we will be immersed in the knowledge of Who God is. And our worship is critical to this aim. As Cheryl goes on to write: Covenant community forms the context for an encounter with God and for an interpretation of the resulting transformation. The covenant God offers to people is a covenant to be the people of God. He dwells in the midst of his people so that the church, being grounded in covenant relations, operates within an epistemology not of detachment and manipulation (which is a result of operating only with facts and principles) but rather of participation and accountability. There is, therefore, the avoidance of privatized subjectivism on the one hand and totalitarian objectivism on the other. […]

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