Church is a fellowship of worship
Psalm 145:1-9 | Romans 12:1-8 or Romans 16:25-27
1 I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
2 Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.
3 Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
4 One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.
5 They speak of the glorious splendour of your majesty—
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
6 They tell of the power of your awesome works—
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
7 They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
9 The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
The church is a fellowship, an assembly, and a gathering – a community that comes together to worship, to pray, to serve each other, to break bread, and to encourage one another in the faith. Worship shapes our identities and our beliefs and in Psalm 145 worship is also described as a way of conveying the truth of who God is to the next generation.
The people of God have always been called and drawn to worship God with their whole lives and to gather as a community for worship and praise. The church of Jesus is a collective of worshippers that have come to see Jesus as the focus of their worship and right from the start Christians have placed their worship of him at the centre of its life.
Worship matters for a number of reasons. Firstly, worship both expresses the heart of the community (and of the individuals that make it up) while also shaping the heart of the community. As we humans become what we love, gathering together to worship helps realign our hearts and forms our characters and desires.
This is one of the reasons why the attractions of consumerism and the consumeristic approach to life is so dangerous for us and why prioritising regular church attendance as a central part of our life is so important for Christians seeking to become like Jesus. Indeed, if the regular worship of God is simply seen as one option among many in our lives, rather than the central act of our lives, then we have already decided to place other things at the centre of our life over him.
Secondly, we note that disappointments, both with God or with Church, can often lead us away from a lifestyle and pattern of worship and these two often go together. When we drift away from Church, we often drift away from God too. Conversely, when we remain committed to church worship regardless of how we feel, we can find that our relationship with God becomes resilient. Worship sustains us.
Thirdly, gathering for worship is also vital for us as a community as it is the place where we are most able to express the gifts of the Spirit in community together, and thus be a blessing to one another, building each other up in love.
Lastly, worship is our destiny and we have been designed for it. As in all areas of our lives, orienting our behaviour around activities that echo our ultimate destiny fit with our design and lead to lives of beauty and strength.
We are designed for worship and our lives find most joy and peace from worshipping our Father in heaven. We are a people of praise. We want to create a joyful and powerful culture of worship among us and within our families. How can we help each other to this end?
- Why do religious people of all kinds place worship at the centre of their lives?
- What happens to us in worship?
- Why does worship matter?
- How does worship change us?
- What makes Christian worship different?
- What are the key hallmarks of Christian worship?
- How can families place worship at the centre of their lives?