I just got home from about 2 hours of what my church calls “open mic.” The custom was born out of tragedy really. Six years ago our young church experienced the death of one of our children. He died on a Saturday night. Sunday morning as the Christians gathered, keeping a schedule of events felt callous. We needed comfort. We needed God. We needed to worship.
So one by one different worship leaders got up and addressed the church. Some with a song. Some with a prayer. Some with a scripture. It was unrehearsed and unscripted. It was simple, primal and spiritual. It felt so… first century.
I feel like that’s exactly what Paul described was happening with the church in Corinth. “What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.” 1 Cor 14:26
Well, the tradition stuck.
Tonight was one of these services. A few times tonight I was lost in the melody as the church, in one voice, poured out their song before the throne of the King. We needed comfort. We needed God. And we found him in our worship.
Sometimes I think we are blinded to why worship matters. Sometimes I think we minimize and diminish why worship matters. Sometimes I think we miss:
Untapped source of strength
When his people gather, Jesus gathers (Mt. 18:20)
Life is hard and I need all the help I can get.
“Whatever the issue in your life is, the key is to worship a holy God who created you and knows everything about you – your failures, shortcomings, insecurities, besetting sins and fears. He sits on His throne, omniscient, and says something like this: ‘I know your final destination, and I know how to get you from where you are now to where I want you to be. I know why I created you. If you’ll worship Me, I will visit with you. I can tell you how to get untangled from the snares in your path and how to move forward. I can even reveal to you things to come that are pertinent to your life and world.'”
~Chuck Pierce with John Dickson
Encourage the church
We don’t just get it. We give it. Our worship gives strength to other weary souls. Isn’t that what it’s all about? At least that’s what it was about in the bible.
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Col. 3:16
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your hearts to the Lord. Eph. 5:19
Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have made a habit, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Heb. 10:25
Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. Ps. 100:4
Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.- William Arthur Ward
Stop for a moment. Think about who you were before Jesus. Think about where you were before Jesus. Think about where you were going before Jesus.
Now absorb grace. Grace. It is unthinkable. How could we not express gratitude through every drop of our existence?
Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Heb. 13:15