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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

missional milk and cookies

Oh, oh, oh, ice cold milk and an Oreo Cookie. They forever go together, what a classic combination. When a dark, delicious cookie meets an icy cold sensation. Like the one and only creamy, crunchy, chocolate, O-R-E-O!

I loooove milk and Oreos. The jingle-writer got it right... "they forever go together!"


So it is with mission and worship. The scripture-writers got it right. Where oreos and milk come down to preference in reality, mission and worship hang together with all the permanency of a God-inspired biblical principle.

And this comes as some confession... I have played my part in clinging to worship as our chief end, resisting the missional prophets who say God is more "out there" than "in here."

And then I found a kind of "grand unification theory" or a "missional milk and cookies" as I prepared for this past Sunday's sermon.

I am in an eight week preaching series, paralleling the first chapter of my doctoral dissertation, looking at eight biblical principles for worship that run throughout the Bible. The first of these was service (or work) as worship. The second, and the source of the insight was obedience as worship. In that sermon and study, I explore how the keeping of God's Word or commandments is a key worship principle that runs through the OT into the NT.

After tracking this principle through numerous passages, it jumped off the page when I was reading the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20. If there were a key missional passage, that would certainly be it:

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Do you see it? In Greek, "observe" is often rendered "keep" - and the idea is to teach new disciples to obey God's Word or keep His commandments. It is to teach them to worship God through obedience! And, our following God out into the world to fulfill the Great Commission is an act of worship-obedience on our part!

Worship doesn't just happen "inside the walls" - it is the motivating principle and the heart and soul of missional theology. We worship God when we live as sent ones. And part of the salt and light we carry is the invitation to worship God through obedience to His Word and Spirit.

Now there's a classic combination that forever goes together!


1 comment:

thekingpin68 said...

'I am in an eight week preaching series, paralleling the first chapter of my doctoral dissertation, looking at eight biblical principles for worship that run throughout the Bible.'

Hi Robert,

I am completing my PhD revisions for the final submission.

Once again, very nice imagery.

Russ

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