Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

Ready to Worship

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The people of God have been engaging in the act of worship for thousands of years. Long before there were mega-churches and multi-site campuses, communities of believers came together to worship the Almighty. Recently there has been a trend in worship that creates a distinction between people on stage who are actively engaged in worship, and people in the pews who may be doing nothing at all. This type of worship does not encourage participation from everyone who has assembled together. It is more like a show put on by a few for the many. There are many problems with this trend in worship, including that worship is about all the people of God coming together and directing their worship toward God. True worship encourages participation from everyone. Worship is not a spectator sport. It is something all believers actively engage in.

As we prepare ourselves for worship each week here are three things we should keep in mind.

We come ready to hear. Jesus places great importance on our ability to hear. Multiple times Jesus says, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” Hearing is an active part of worship. It is more than just the reception of audible sounds. Hearing means we understand and accept words that will change our life. In worship we listen for a word from God. We allow God to speak to us through the proclamation of his Word, reading of Scripture, singing, and prayer. If we do not come to worship ready to hear, then we will be like the many people in Jesus’ day that heard him speak but never responded to his call.

We come ready to commune. Worship happens within community. The church is a community of people united in Jesus Christ. Jesus places more emphasis on spiritual family, than on earthly family (Mark 3:31-35). Division within the community of God distorts worship (Matt. 5:23-24). In 1 Corinthians 11 Paul chastises the congregation because they are divided when they come together to partake of the Lord’s Supper. Before we can commune with God we need to settle any differences we may have with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We come before the Lord on the first day of the week, not as individuals, but as a community of believers.

We come ready to participate. Worship implies our participation. If we are not participating, then it is not worship. The individuals who have the privilege of standing before the congregation are not the only persons engaged in worship. Their job is to lead the congregation in worship. When a person leads public prayer, we are all praying. When a song leader begins to sing, we all sing. When a minister delivers God’s word, we all openly receive God’s word. Worship is never about just one person or a team of people. It is always about the entire community of God actively participating in worship before God. There are no small roles in worship. Every person’s participation is essential to the church’s worship.

May we come always ready to hear, commune, and participate in worship to our Almighty King.

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