Showing posts with label song. Show all posts
Showing posts with label song. Show all posts

13 June 2013

True worship

Worship is more than a ceremony and it's more than singing songs, it demands sacrifice, a journey and a lifetime of dedication. Three verses clarify this as we look at the worship of Abraham, the Magi and Anna. Can we offer less than they did? 

Dog daisies in a meadow
My wife works with our friends Roger and Carolyn to lead a Small Group, part of Open Door Church here in St Neots. Although I'm not a member of Open Door, I am part of the Small Group.

I was asked to manage the worship part of yesterday's meeting and felt I should share some thoughts about worship before we began to sing and praise together.

If we won't worship him the very stones will do it, the trees of the fields will clap their hands, the meadow flowers will praise him.

Here's an extended version of my notes. There are three verses I'd thought we should consider on the subject of worship.

Abraham - The first one is Genesis 22:5 - "Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you."

Here is Abraham, full of faith as he goes to sacrifice his son Isaac, telling the servant that they will both return. But think for a moment about what is happening here. Abram and Sarai are elderly, so old that when they are told they will have a child, they both laugh at the very idea.

Yet here he is, Isaac is their son, impossible in every way yet an undeniable fact. There can be no doubt that Isaac was Abraham's most precious possession. No-one and nothing could be worth more to the old man. Yet he was prepared to give up his own son.

If you want to worship, you must give up the most precious thing you have for the Almighty's use.

What is most precious to you? Think about it carefully.

The wise men - Matthew 2:2 - "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him."

Having arrived at Jesus' birthplace, how did the Magi worship? Did they perform a ceremony of some kind? Not as far as we know. And how long did they stay?  Possibly quite a short time, perhaps just long enough to present their gifts of gold, fankincense and myrrh.

The account in Matthew tells us very little, however it is clear that these three men had made an extremely long journey to see this new 'King of the Jews'. And having arrived and then quickly left, they had the same journey to do again to get home. They were probably on the road for weeks each way.

The gifts they brought were precious and were a form of worship, but their real worship was the long and arduous journey they had made in order to see the infant king.

Anna - Luke 2:37 - "There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped night and day, fasting and praying."

What was her worship? It was her devotion day after day, year after year. She wasted her life on Yahweh. She could have remarried, had a family, and enjoyed a full and successful life. Yet she gave it all up to serve in the place where Yahweh's Presence rested.

And us? - We must worship 'in Spirit and in truth'. (John 4:23) We must give him the most precious thing we have, it's not about a ceremony or singing songs, it demands a long and arduous journey, it means wasting our lives on him.

There is nothing wrong with singing songs together, especially if they're songs that remind us of the Lord and draw us into his presence. But what he wants from us in worship is much more than songs and a reverent heart.

Two stories - And then I shared two short stories. Both were taken from Steve Addison's book 'What Jesus Started' (an excellent read, by the way). I asked everyone to see if they could spot the worship in the two true stories.

The first is about how Steve met a man on a train and shared the good news about Jesus with him. The second is about a stranger in a Muslim country, going to the imam with questions about the Qur'an concerning Isa (Jesus). One of the men listening to the conversation searches out the stranger later to learn more. In both cases the worship involves taking a risk, obedience, and reaching the lost. There is sacrifice here, giving up the safe and comfortable for the unknown.

And finally, we sang some awesome songs, finishing with Christy Nockels and 'Waiting here for you'.

Questions:

  • What is your own understanding of worship? Is it more about praise or obedience?
  • Can you identify areas in your life where you might worship the Almighty more fully?
  • What is the most precious thing you have?

See also:

20 November 2012

Stars, whales, and worship

Here's an amazing mashup from Louie Giglio involving stars, some whales, and Psalm 148. I found it yesterday on another blog and want as many people as possible to see it.

I was going to post again today on the topic of heaven. But two items from the web have caught my attention and I feel they should take precedence. We'll look at one today and the other tomorrow.

First is an amazing video involving some stars and whales and based on Psalm 148. This was sent to Dave deVries by his daughter and he decided to post it on his blog. I thought it was so special that I want to share it with my readers too.

It made Dave smile, it made me cry, what will it do to you?



Did you watch it? Isn't it amazing?

Louie Giglio is involved in the Passion Movement, writes books and music (some of them very widely known) and is also a manager of sixsteprecords. He is clearly an excellent and engaging public speaker as you can see from the video.

Questions:
  • Are there other people you know who should see this?
  • What other natural singing can you think of that might have been added? (Hint - if you can't think of anything go outside into a garden or park and listen.)
  • How did you feel when you watched the video?
  • Do you sing enough when you're on your own?

See also:

06 December 2011

Be like your Father

< A pottery lesson | No later items >

I think it will be useful to share the words of another Fisherfolk song, this one from 1979. The track (and the album) is called 'Be like your Father' and it's always been one of my favourites.

Part of the LP cover for 'Be like your Father'It's so easy to live my life with 'me' at the centre. It's called being self-centred and it's not a good thing, not a good thing at all. Yahshua calls us to be other-centred, not self-centred. In fact, I need to live a life focussed first on Father, and then on all those around me. That includes my enemies. What a challenge!

'Be like your Father' is based on Yahshua's own words as reported by Matthew (chapter 5:43-48)

So here are the words of the song. The image shows the album cover.
But I say unto you...

Love your enemies and pray for those who hurt you.
Give to those who ask, don't turn away. And

Refrain:
Be like your Father in heaven above
Who causes his sun to shine on evil and good,
And sends down his rain to quench all men's thirst.
In him we live and move and have our being.

If you forgive your brother so will God forgive you
Do not judge lest you be judged yourselves. And

Refrain

When you see the hungry, feed them from your table.
For the poor and weary be their watering place. And

Refrain

Love your enemies and pray for those who hurt you.
Give to those who ask don't turn away. And

Refrain (x 2)
Thanks go to the Community of Celebration for permission to reproduce the lyrics. The CD is still available from their online store.

I don't have permission to share the music with you, in any case I only have a scratchy copy on an ancient vinyl disc. But perhaps I can offer you a small snippet to give you a feel for it and encourage you to splash out on the CD (crackle free)!

Hmm... I think I've just persuaded myself to buy a fresh copy on CD.

< A pottery lesson | No later items >

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