Archive for January 21, 2011

Jan 21

Sermon Follow-up: “So What Do We Mean by Worship?”

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Sermon Follow-Up

At DSC, we regularly remind ourselves of what our church is about with the mission statement, “Spreading God’s Glory Broader and Deeper.” But, lately, we’ve also been using three words to summarize the kinds of things we do together in pursuit of that mission: Worship, Community, Mission. This Sunday, Ryan began a three week series in which he’ll devote a sermon to each of these three words.

In last Sunday’s sermon, “So What Do We Mean by Worship?,” Ryan answered that question with an exposition of 1 Peter 2:4-10. We are a house for God’s presence, a people for His praise, because we have a cornerstone that is precious.

The language of “worship” describes what is the totality of the Christian life. Indeed, everyone is a worshiper and they are busy worshiping something in every moment of life. Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are those who have been brought to see the truth and Glory of God for what it is, and have turned from the worship of created things and the gods of our imagination for the worship of the One True and Living God.

But, as Ryan discussed on Sunday, our corporate gatherings are like the sprint one might do at the end of a jog. Sunday mornings aren’t just like other worshipful opportunities in the week. Sundays are unique expressions of the worship of God in pursuit of his merciful, presence among us. We should give it all, not coast on in.

So what are some practical implications for believing that gathering together on Sunday is a big deal? I’ll expand here on a few I gathered from the part of Ryan’s notes he didn’t get to on Sunday:

1) Coming and Engaging:

All of us could make Sunday mornings a greater priority in our thinking about it and preparing for it. Some of us need to come more. You need for it to not be easy to stay in bed or go to the lake. Some of us need to come earlier. Identify what is slowing you down and calculate some changes to remove those problems. It may mean going to bed earlier. It may mean making what-to-wear decisions the night before. Some of us need to make more appropriate spiritual preparations through prayer, confessing sin, meditating on Scripture. Some of us need to come ready. Some of us need to talk to people. Some of us need to figure out what we’re doing here anyway. We don’t meet to be awed by song or lights or personality. We meet to be awed by God in singing, speaking, and hearing his word, and seeing Christ more clearly when we do. Some of us need to realize that a critical spirit toward elements within the service, when those criticisms aren’t grounded in God’s own word but our preferences, is hurting the church, redirecting glory from God to an idol. A critical spirit could be stealing your (and others’) joy.

2) Hearing:

This sounds more simple than it is. How natural it can be to hear and not really hear! We want to be the kind of hearers that chew and digest and speak the things we hear because in hearing them we can be transformed. We want to live more peacefully, forgive more eagerly, give more generously, serve more fervently because of our hearing. That takes more than sitting there. It doesn’t mean feverishly writing things down – we don’t do that at a movie. It means letting the words have their way with us, to be absorbed in them. If you are in and out of town, maybe you would commit to listening and really hearing every message you miss, in part, so that you will know something of what you were missing and truly miss being there live when you’re gone.

3) Singing:

We’re a church that listens to preaching pretty well. When guests preach for us, they say that we’re a wonderfully listening church. Some guest preachers have told other preachers that DSC is a church that loves preaching. We should praise God for that. But we’ve also, at times, been known for not singing very loudly, for being rather passive participants during in our weekly gathering. We can grow here as a church, so let’s grow in volume, participation, and passionate expression.

4) Going and Taking and Doing:

Our worship on Sunday is an intensified block of the same things we’re to do all week. God’s glory can be praised in every mundane part of our normal lives: in our driving, talking, walking, working, waiting, and in our sleeping (1 Cor. 10:31). We are to go to his Word, and go to him in prayer, on our own and with our family. Let’s give our all on Sunday mornings, and let that truth, glory, awe, and worship launch into the rest of our week.