An Evening of Gathered Worship

WorshipHandsWorship is to come from our lives, not just in song. We know Rom 12:1-2 tells us this. Or it reminds us that the presenting of our bodies as living sacrifices is our logikēn latreian (‘reasonable service’). This word latreian is regularly translated as ‘worship’ because it’s related to the role of the priests in the temple. They served and worshipped God in all they did.

But a new temple has now been formed in Jesus Christ, one being made of living stones, and we are called to offer our reasonable service-worship through the sacrifice of ourselves.

Of course, I believe the fuller concept gets lost a bit in the individualized proclamation of this passage. Instead, what we have here is a proclamation to the community of God’s people in Rome that they might together offer their lives as a sacrifice, which was their reasonable service-worship together.

And we must not forget that one of the great ways to keep the community on the path of being living sacrifices together is through the gathered worship, in all its various formats. It’s not only in this form – but if we remember the collective focus of scripture, then we’ll want to gather together to express our worship-service to God.

And so, this past weekend, our church community gathered together to sing and dance, kneel and pray, offer artistic expressions and read scripture, share communion and word, and much more. Here is a short video summary of that time.

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4 thoughts on “An Evening of Gathered Worship

  1. “But a new temple has now been formed in Jesus Christ, one being made of living stones, and we are called to offer our reasonable service-worship through the sacrifice of ourselves.”
    Amen. You were doin good right here.

    ” Instead, what we have here is a proclamation to the community of God’s people in Rome that they might together offer their lives as a sacrifice, which was their reasonable service-worship together.
    And then this. What is it with you people? How can I offer somebody else’s body as a living sacrifice? That command can ONLY be to individuals. As soon as you say:
    “well no, that’s not what I mean. What I mean is that we as a comunity of individuals must together offer as one, ourselves as the bride and body of Christ as a testimony to the transforming power of the holy God”
    As soon as you say that (which you will), my question then becomes again, WHO has ever NOT believed that? Wright does this constantly. He declares something that’s right and true (which he DOES do sometimes) and acts as if HE has been raised up in these latter days to bring this truth forward that is only now realized through his enhanced understanding of 2nd temple Judaism and ancient near eastern thought. Meanwhile every reformed theologian in history as either affirmed or denied what ever it is he is affirming or denying.

    May God be pleased with and exalted in the hearts of the folks in your video. We sing and dance and wave our hands, and banners at our church. My problem will never be with people offering honest worship to the King of creation. He loves that and therefore so do I. My problem is with His unchanging and unchangable word evolving along with the sinful wisdom of man.

    I’m not ignoring your other response in the other thread. I have been very short on time.

    • Tiri –

      How can I offer somebody else’s body as a living sacrifice?

      Read it again, slowly: Instead, what we have here is a proclamation to the community of God’s people in Rome that they might together offer their lives as a sacrifice, which was their reasonable service-worship together.

      It says nothing about Joe offering Bob’s body or Julie offering Susan’s body. It’s about the people, together in community, learning how to offer their bodies and lives together. There is a responsibility of a person, but that person is encouraged and strengthened as they see the community doing it together.

      Now, to your question of who has not believed this? I find it very common amongst evangelicals to believe that it’s all about Joe offering his body, then Susan separately offering, then Bob separately offering, then Julie separately offering, etc, etc. When the word is preached, we ask: How can I apply this to my life? When communion is taken, we ask: What does this mean for me. When songs are sung, they are filled with the pronouns I, me, my, mine, etc.

      What if we began to ask more and more – What does the word being preach call us to, as a community, in Christ? What does taking communion together as a shared meal call us to in Christ? What if our songs were filled more with us, we, our, etc?

      It seems subtle, but it is rich with the heart of God forming a singular temple made up of a community of people.

  2. When songs are sung, they are filled with the pronouns I, me, my, mine, etc.
    I couldn’t possibly agree with you more here. I cannot stand very much of what passes for “Christian” music today for THE very reason you cite.

    “What if we began to ask more and more – What does the word being preach call us to, as a community, in Christ? What does taking communion together as a shared meal call us to in Christ? What if our songs were filled more with us, we, our, etc?
    It seems subtle, but it is rich with the heart of God forming a singular temple made up of a community of people.”

    What if we returned to reformed orthodoxy in other words?

    For the rest of my response please see here:
    http://tiribulus.net/wordpress/?p=107#comment-232
    You may have to scroll down just a little. I am NOT trying to lure you over to my site. I just didn’t think I should post that here. I’d be getting tired of me too if I were you. Of course I am not you, but this is still your site.

  3. You are right Scott we are called to live in community. It is true that I can (and should) worship when I am alone, but God has called us to live in community. The Bible shows that God has always desired a people. I hear testimony after testimony of when people enter into salvation or are experience a radical transformation by God it is most often while in worship within a community.

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