Worship Invites Us Into the Story of God
Here are some things God has been teaching me as of late:
God has been revealing Himself to us since the beginning of time. He first revealed Himself to us through all that He created (Genesis 1-2; Psalm 19). Then after the fall of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3) He revealed His graciousness by providing clothing through the sacrifice of an animal. That sacrifice would be the first of many animal sacrifices that would point to the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ our Savior. All through the Old Testament God expresses amazing patience to His people even when they rebel and reject His actions of love, grace, miracles and mercy. The Old Testament is the continuing story of God’s redemptive plan whereby God pursues His erring children by sending prophets and allowing them to have kings and leaders as they requested. Unfortunately, the people’s hearts grow hard and resistant to God’s call and they are led away into captivity as a result of their sinful choices and disobedience. Life grows bitter and difficult. They cry out for mercy and deliverance. God hears and responds.
Jesus, the Messiah, the Savior of the World appears in the opening pages of the New Testament. He is the promised and prophesied one of whom prophets like Isaiah spoke hundreds of years earlier. There is great joy for many because Jesus is perceived to be the one who will deliver from oppression and life’s difficulties. Jesus heals, befriends the lowly and outcasts. He teaches about the Kingdom of God with authority and boldness. He expresses tenderness and compassion to the lost. But it soon becomes apparent that Jesus has another plan that is at odds with the expectations of the people. Cries of “Hosanna” quickly turn to cries of “crucify Him” and He is nailed to a horrible cross of crucifixion and shame. The Son of God is tortured and beat beyond description for the sins of the world and then laid in a tomb. Three days later He rises from the dead, accomplishing our redemption and salvation and 40 days later ascends back to the Father. He sends the promised Holy Spirit and the Church is born.
God, in His great mercy and love, continues to reach out to us to this day. He speaks through creation, His Word, His Spirit and His people. This is the story we celebrate and retell to our children and grandchildren. We remember, worship and celebrate through communion the Story of God in its fullness. Through remembrance and worship we are transformed and formed into the likeness of God our Savior and thus bring Him much glory, honor and praise. Worship invites us into this epic story of redemption and as we worship our lives are renewed and formed into His image more and more. This is the power of the story. This is the power of the Gospel. This is the priority of worship.