What matters most in worship, form or function?

One Sunday I preached a sermon titled “How can I prepare for worship”. The next morning I sat down with our worship musician and we began planning the next week’s worship services but in the process we started talking about worship as it’s done here -vs- worship at it’s essence. The timing was God ordained because we’ve been working on some contemporary music in the evening. But even there we became aware that our focus could (and might?) very easily get out of alignment if it hadn’t already. As we continued to reflect on worship we realized that all the arguments about worship are due to form, rather than function. Generally I think most people to some degree understand the function of worship. In any good design of any given item, product, method or whatever form should follow function (If you disagree stop reading and go read some artsy magazine somewhere else it won’t do you any good to rant on this with me.) I believe the way a worship team builds a worship service should be first with a consideration of it’s function. Therefore the function of worship needs to be clearly stated. As best we can briefly determine the function of worship could be stated this way: To ensure that each one here can express to God the love and admiration they have for him in […]

God Grants the Victory

God grants the victory!
The cross proclaims his righteousness
The empty tomb shouts His glory

God has the victory
The tears of saints entreat His hand
The prayerful cry of the righteous echoes His praise

God is the victory
Every power is beneath His power
The evil will see it and shudder

God gives the victory
the empty tomb shouts His glory
The blood stained cross provides our peace.

To the repentant one all sins are forgiven
To the dependent one heaven’s throne bends it’s ears
God grants the victory!

Luke 1:46-56 Mary Worship (Part 2)

Last time we talked about Mary’s song of praise known as the Magnificat in Luke 1:46-56 – we were only able to cover the first half of the song recognizing that true worship happens in the heart, responds to the character of God and in fact is about God instead of us.
Let’s read the Magnificat together: Read Luke 1:46-56.
She begins her song with worship welling up out of her soul, the core of her being. Her master and her savior is the object of her song. The reason for the worship is on one hand because God has looked to her among all people and has exalted her so that for all time she will be considered blessed. Truly God has done great things for her, but above all God is worshiped because His Name Is Holy.
Beginning then with Luke 1:50 Mary’s song turns away from herself as she begins to worship God For what he “has” done for all people. Starting with his extension of mercy to the families of those who fear him.

True Worship Reflects the Heart of God

It is a repeated promise in the Old Testament that God promises his blessings to generations after those who love him. It is a consistent pattern with the Lord that he shows mercy from generation to generation. It not only demonstrates God’s incredible patience but also his enduring love.
God himself considers this to be core to His identity. Remember in the book of Exodus how Moses pleads with God, “’…I pray You, show me Your glory!’ “And He said, ‘I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.’” (Exodus 33:18-19 NAU)