The Give and Take of Worship

3 Oct

Worship is not something only for Sundays, or when first getting up or lying down, or before you eat, or when you managed to dodge that deer.  In Romans 12:1 Paul says, “I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you.  Let them be a living and holy sacrifice-the kind he will find acceptable.  This is truly the way to worship him.”  It’s hardly possible to hear someone plead with us to give our bodies without remembering how the Lord gave his, however, Paul is not saying that you and I need to die a horrible death in order to worship God.  What he is saying is that worship is an ongoing lifestyle of give and take with Jesus.  

In recent weeks we’ve been experiencing that give and take in the celebrations.  We focus on the Lord’s presence together-through the act of assembling, through song and prayer, and in the midst of all that the Spirit stirs in us-calling us to places of comfort and joy, change and growth.  We sing some more and pray and the Lord responds within our hearts and minds.  We open our lives to the bible and hear a message brought by one of our tribe that the Lord uses to speak into our lives specifically.  We respond with offerings of our financial support and decisions to take on specific acts in order to grow deeper and wider in our relationship with God and each other.  That pattern we engage in our weekly celebrations is the way we continue to live with God as we go onto our specific mission fields with the friends, relatives, associates, neighbors and strangers whose paths we cross-those to whom the Lord will send us specifically.

The way we do that is to stay ever true to why we exist (which is to reach out to the unreached and grow Jesus followers, what we do (help others sing the song God has planted in their hearts) and how we do it (Get it-download Jesus, Got it-embrace your heartsong, Go-sing it out loud), using the aspects of the Jesus centered life as the check list for how closely we are following Jesus.  That is our worship; that is what the Lord “will find acceptable”.

By the way, no one came to me on Sunday and asked “why do I need to fill out a response card with my name and email address every Sunday?”  But just in case you are wondering, here’s why: One reason is because it is a moment in which your heart and mind open up to hearing what response the Lord will want from you that day.  The other reason is that when you do it, everyone around you (especially newcomers) sees you do it, and feels more comfortable doing it themselves.  It is a way to reach out to the unreached (them) and grow Jesus followers (them-and you).  

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