The message on a recent Sunday at ARPC was on worship. “What is Worship?” We looked at the fact that we live in a culture that can take us in the wrong direction with worship if we are not careful. For example we are an entertainment culture – we want to be entertained all the time; we are a consumer oriented culture – it’s about me-me-me. And then there is an aspect of our culture we didn’t speak to: we are a Task oriented culture. Here’s a checklist for Sunday mornings that many can identify with…
- Get out of the house on time
- Catch the light for turning on Albemarle Road
- Get a good parking spot
- Speed walk to the door
- Avoid unnecessary conversations (By the way: why is the preacher always standing outside when I arrive?)
- Get coffee
- Drink coffee
- Find a seat (not up front)
- Oh – forgot to go to the bathroom
- Turn off phone
- Read the bulletin (overhead screen) before the service begins
- Write out a to-do list during the sermon.
When was the last time we felt like we were really approaching God? All through the Psalms we read of coming before God. But sometimes it feels like we’re just along for the ride.
We all stumble in this area, so don’t get too down on yourself! We are broken people living in a sinful world. It is testimony to God’s grace that we can come before God at all. If we want to come before God in a way that is pleasing to God, we must re-examine who it is we are worshipping to begin with. The following passage can help our hearts and minds accordingly:
After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightening, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.
In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had the face like a man, and the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:
“Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty,
Who was, and is, and is to come.”
Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
To receive glory and honor and power,
For you created all things,
And by your will they were created
And have their being.” (Revelation 4)
This is the God we worship and serve. This is the God we come before in worship. Pray daily for the Spirit’s help to set aside your Sunday morning task list and instead come before God in awe- wonder – reverence.
How Great is Our God!