Augustine of Hippo said this about us. “You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” He was speaking of our relationship to God and how that we are created for worship and for a relationship with God which nothing else can replace. Our own Book of Order describes worship as, “an awareness of God’s grace and claim upon our lives.
In his book on the great ends of the church Howard Rice says, “Public worship matters because it is the one time in the week when God’s people gather to acknowledge God’s presence in the world and in our lives, to remember our faith, to act out its meaning, to celebrate the good news in Christ, to respond to God’s claim on our lives and to receive the blessing of God. We worship because without worship we forget our identity and begin to believe the lies all around us; the false promises of advertising and the lure to accumulate more possessions. Without God, we are less than fully human. Because God created us in God’s own image, we are never more truly happy than when we are acting out our identity in praise, thanksgiving, and in acts of commitment. When we worship, we are most fully the people God intends us to be. As the church , we never act more like the church than when we worship. “
Rick Warren in his bestselling book, The Purpose Driven Life, says that we are created for worship. I think Warren is correct along with Augustine, Calvin, Wesley and many more who have observed and commented that we ignore worship to our peril and loss. Now, I am speaking of worship not merely church attendance though the two may be intertwined. To receive and develop a life in which worship is a key characteristic is to come to know God and to have ways of responding to God’s grace and mercy.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth
Worship the Lord with gladness
Come before him with joyful songs
Know that the Lord is God
It is he who made us, and we are his
We are this people, the sheep of his pasture
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
And his courts with praise
Give thanks to him and praise his name
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever
His faithfulness continues through all generations
Pastor Henry's Blog