If we believe that God is actively seeking to communicate with us (see Loving God 101, Part 1 and Part 3), then we would be wise to go the places where we know God’s voice is loudest. We’ve already examined some of these (e.g., sacraments, acts of compassion and service to others). But the place where God’s voice is (or – if we are doing things somewhat correctly, should be) the loudest is in the corporate worship of the church.
Indeed, Jesus declares that “wherever two or three are gathered in my name” he is present (a vision of the worship of the early church [Gk., for “church” is ekklesia, and refers specifically to the community and never to the building]).
Thus when we gather as a community to “worship,” God is with us and – though the elements of worship (prayer, song, sermon, sacraments…) – offering contact. In other words, what we do on Sunday is not our gift to God, but God’s gift of his presence to us.
How much better we would be if church leaders and church goers could both come to see that our Sunday gatherings have nothing to do with giving glory to God for God’s sake (as if God is somehow lacking in glory or desiring a little extra dose!), but or ours. We are the ones who need to step into the glory of God’s loving presence and in worship it is there for us to find if we can open our hearts to experience it (and contribute to the experience for each other). (If that sounds heretical, perhaps take a moment to listen to this…?)
In this episode my friend, Matt Sasso, leads us through we will take another look at what we mean by “worship” and how we can grow by means of our intentional participation.
This is a sermon that was originally presented at Canvas (a Presbyterian church in Irvine, CA), March 15, 2015. To learn more about Canvas, click here!