If you are new to this blog....

Welcome! The primary purpose of this blog is to explore and encourage around what it means to be winsome and sent into the world for God's glory. If you are new here, the definition of "lighthouse-searchlight" or our missional journey is a good place to start. Come peruse the blog and add me to your RSS feed!

Friday, April 18, 2008

what are we doing here?

“What are we doing here?” And specifically, why come to church and sit in a room for an hour or more and sing and pray and listen to words from an ancient book? Is God there? What do we think is going on? What do we expect will happen? Are we doing it the right way? Is there something more or less we should do or say? If worship is at the center of a church’s life, are we clear on what it’s supposed to be about?

Jesus addressed that question famously in the middle of an encounter with a woman of another race. There were a number of things going on during that encounter and in that passage, but one key part has them discussing the worship of God, which was one of the points of historic difference between their two races (Jewish and Samaritan). They worshiped in different ways, and most importantly (to them), in different places. Jesus ends up describing to her the “people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.” (John 4:23)

I want to grow towards being the kind of people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. I believe that is the right answer to what we are doing here, and the question really is whether we are being those kind of people or not.

The worship conversation began at the same place our worship conversations most often begin: Samaritans and Jews, Presbyterians and Baptists, Jerusalem and Mt. Gerazim, a traditional church building or a rented storefront. Jewish worship was ancient, full of heritage and tradition. The Samaritan worship was new-fangled and mixed in questionable new practices. But Jesus didn’t take the bait.

John 4:23 may be the single most important verse about worship in the Bible. Listen to what Jesus said:

An hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.
Not only were things supposed to change radically from the arguments about time, place, and style, but Jesus announced that things had changed. The hour is coming and now is.

More in the sermon HERE or listen here (approx. 20 min.; click arrow to play)

Tag Cloud

2014 2015 accountability acts advent archive art arts ash wednesday aslan assurance audio auditions bands belief bigotry blessing blob bloggers blooper reel bluegrass body of christ book book reviews boomer boundaries breadth of worship builder bus calling Calvin Symposium cd ceilidh change character of god chart christmas church church partnerships civility commandments commentary communication community con ed confession confirmation contemporized hymns crisis culture D.Min. dance darkness death definitions denomination depth of worship discernment discipleship discourse dismissal dissertation drama early church easter ecclesiology ecpc emergent church error evangelism excellence exile exodus experimentation facebook failure faith family of God father fear fellowship fellowshippres following forgiveness friendship frost fruit frustration funerals GA ga219 ga220 GAhelp generations genX gift gifts girl scouts good news Google gospel grace gracious witness gspc youth hands health highlights holy spirit holy week hope hospitality humility humor hymn image of God imago dei improvisation incarnation inclusion index information insider language institutions interns invitation iTunes james jazz Jeremy Begbie john piper jonah joy judgment Keith and Kristyn Getty kids kindness language law lay renewal leadership legalism lent license life light lighthouse linked articles links listening liturgy loneliness love lyrics maddie shuler meme mentoring mercy metanarrative mgb commission millenials ministry networks miscellaneous mission missional missional identity missions moderator montreat mumford music narnia neighborhood neighbors new wineskins new year news newsletter NEXT NEXTchurch nicaragua noticing obedience obstacles organizations outreach palm sunday parenting participation pastor pastoral ministry pcaus pcusa peace performance peter pgf pictures plagues planning podcasting poetry politics ponderings pornography post-modernism prayer preaching presbymergent presbyterian global fellowship presbytery publishing questions racism reader reconciliation recordings recycled goodness redemption reflection refugees relationship relationships retreat righteousness risk roadblocks rss rules sabbatical safety salt samaritan satan satire scotland searchlight searchlight 2.0 sectarianism self-righteousness seminaries sermon snippets sermon-song sermons shalom sheep shepherding sin small church social media song songwriters songwriting spheres of influence spirit spiritual lessons spiritual power stewardship stories story sub-culture summary sunrise talent challenge tears technology teenagers Ten Commandments terrorism testimony theater theft theological education top posts tragedy transformation translation travel trees trinitarian worship trinity trust truth twitter union with christ valentines VBS video virtual reality vision waiting website wednesdays out wee kirk welcome witness word cloud wordle words workshop worship writing year-end YL you tube youth