Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Worship (corporate) (10/04/07)
TITLE: Christians are Fortunate
By gene hudgens
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Jesus taught that God wants His children to worship in spirit and truth (John 4:23). More important is that we need worship to give us a foundation for our lives and to fuel and sustain our souls. We’ve read that ‘to praise God is to live…and to live is to praise God.’ “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” Psalm 150.
Worship.com defines worship as, “Worship is our response, both personal and corporate, to God…for whom He is and for what He has done…expressed in and by the things we say and the way we live”. Christian life is focused on God and on our fellowship with Him and other people
Why should we worship God? We should worship Him because of who He is…God!
Who should worship? The answer is: everyone! Worship is not just the goal of every living creature, but the goal of all creation. Everyone is invited to worship with everything we have…body, voice, mind, and heart. Worship invites us to give God the highest place in our hearts. Corporate worship spiritually forms and transforms us. Jesus taught that God the Father wants people to worship in spirit and truth (John 4:23).
Christians are very fortunate. We have a personal God that we can pray to any minute of the day or night. However, Webster will say that it isn’t necessary to believe in a personal God or heavenly power; that the act of worship is to believe that there are powers lying or extending beyond the limits of possible experience, comprehension, and knowledge…super natural powers that transcend the universe or material existence.
Our God, the Creator, far exceeds any and all of this definition. Yes, we Christians are very fortunate.
However, we Christians must be alert, wise and understanding when others around us do not practice “worship” as we do. Worship is just too incogitable, incomparable, and inconceivable to be limited only to our personal beliefs.
The establishment and maintenance of a relationship between an individual and the holy is the basic function of worship. An important function of worship is also the creation and maintenance of harmony between all peoples of all societies and the encouragement of positive growth and expansion of the social and personal life of a community.
Corporate exclusive worship belongs entirely to groups like Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, or a clan. Such exclusive groups might well feel that they alone have a distinct status over other groups based on their belief that their group alone has a/the divine mission in the world. Most of us have read about religious wars.
Corporate inclusive worship involves members of a society that are included as members of a worshipping community, such as Lutheran, by virtue of birth. Throughout human history this has been numerically the largest group.
Confessions, ritual acts, processions, sermons, a kiss of peace, offerings of bread, wine, and water, Sacraments, fixed prayers etc are normal in both inclusive and exclusive corporate worship.
The normative principle of worship teaches that whatever is not prohibited in Scripture is permitted in worship, as long as it is agreeable to the peace and unity of the Church. Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans, Methodists, and Eastern Orthodox normal accept this approach.
The religious calendar has always been of great importance in the worshipping community and historically takes place at sacred places and at certain times or seasons.
Re-enactment of Christian deliverance is commonly focused by music, processional and ritual movements and rites prescribed for public worship, by icons, incense, and vestments.
In one way or another all people respond to what they feel is holy. In the narrow sense Judaism, Christianity, and Islam direct their worship to the divine alone.
Our God teaches us that we should use worship to create and maintain harmony in our society. He elevated us humans above all other animals, gave us a brain, gave us His Commandments, and allowed Jesus to die for us. We all have the responsibility to maintain social harmony for Him.
Worship is essential in shaping spiritual community. Corporate worship, not individual praise, is the goal. We reflect God’s will best when we worship Him together.
In order to fulfill our mission to and for the world, we must put our ego aside and practice spiritually-transforming, corporately-expressed, God-centered worship.
Our worship must always go beyond politics, denominations, and philosophies and anything that interferes with our putting God first and only.
God, we thank you for everything.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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