We are in on what God is doing, and we are in on it together. In his Ancient-Future book series, Robert E. He affirmed Scripture as foundational and the final authority in matters of faith and practice, including worship. And he argued that our road to the future is not an innovative new start, but a future that runs through the past.
The following quotes are taken from Ancient-Future Worship in that series. Nor is worship about me. How will the world know its own story unless we do that story in public worship?
The 7 Mountains To Culture Transformation
It arises from the loss of attention to the whole Bible. A shift has taken place toward a focus on therapeutic or inspirational preaching and to the rise of entertainment or presentational worship. When this happens, worship takes place. Beneath the privatization of worship is the ever-present individualism of our culture.
This focus on the self results in prayers that are concerned with my life, my needs, my desires — prayers that seem indifferent to the needs of the poor and the problem of violence and war that devours nations and societies and ignores the works of God in Christ to bring to an end all evil, death, and sin.
A dichotomy is a contrast or clear distinction between two things. It is a classification divided into two mutually exclusive and sometimes even contradictory groups like war and peace or love and hate. The basic understanding of the words commencement and culmination when taken at face value is also a dichotomy. Commencement means a beginning or start and culmination means to end or arrive at a final stage.
Is the Sunday worship service the commencement of the worship week?
REVIEW: “Ever Ancient, Ever New,” by Winfield Bevins
Is the Sunday worship service the culmination of the worship week? As a commencement, the Sunday service sings our congregations out. As a culmination, the Sunday service sings our congregations in. I want nothing to do with your religion projects, your pretentious slogans and goals. Do you know what I want? I want justice — oceans of it. I want fairness — rivers of it.
None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ — the Message — have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. Oliver Twist and scores of other orphan boys toiled in the miserable existence of a workhouse. They labored long hours subsisting on three paltry meals of gruel, a watery food substance of unknown character offering little nutritional value. On one occasion, the boys drew lots to determine who would represent them to ask for more food.
We know we have a spiritual mandate to regularly observe it, yet often wonder if this is all there is. For many congregations, observing Communion has become so routine that it no longer calls forth the reality it symbolizes. So there is a need to discover it again with such freshness that it would be like experiencing it for the first time. Asking for more might cause us to grieve and weep, but it also might cause us to celebrate and shout. Asking for more means the remembrance is rarely manifested in the same way twice.
Asking for more not only remembers how his sacrifice impacted our past, but also how it will influence our future. In fact, we may actually receive immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine Eph Walter B. Worship traditionalism begins when we take a good thing how we worship and make it the only thing. Tradition embraces and shares the foundational tenets that formed it.
Tradition lives in a conversation with the past, while remembering we live in the present. But traditionalism presumes that nothing should ever be done for the first time.
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So tradition evolves into the living faith of the dead and traditionalism the dead faith of the living. With complete disregard for previous worship practices or what others might think, David danced with all his might in complete humility before the Lord. Her primary focus was on how he worshiped.
Instead, he danced with reckless abandon for the Lord. Tradition, on the other hand, has carried our past into the present and will challenge our future by always considering the why before the how. A theological foundation of continuous worship, therefore, must be found in the understanding that if God continually outpours and we are created in his image, then we too should be continual outpourers.
But since our outpouring is fallen it needs redeeming or it will outpour on false gods. So salvation is the only way continuous biblical worship is possible.
Worship may ebb and flow, may take on various appearances and may be unconscious or conscious, intense and ecstatic or quiet and commonplace, but it is continuous. It changes directions and reverts back to what it once was, even if only for an instant.
Repentance — the turning from and re turning to — is the only solution. The room would not have been filled with such abundant fragrance had she merely tithed it out. It was the waste both a Judas word and holy word that was so magnificent and intoxicating. Worship is no more started up because we have pushed the faith button than our faith is started because we have pushed the worship button. Saving faith is not a different kind of faith than continuing faith. We do not step into or out of faith, nor do we step into or out of worship. Therefore, continual worship is not a different substance than worship that takes place at a set time and in a certain place.
But as continuing worshipers, we gather ourselves together to continue our worship, but now in the company of brothers and sisters. This is not intaking but spiritualized laziness. It should be an unbroken continuum, a breathing in and out, a full articulation of all that we are in Christ throughout all our days. If we think this way, we fuel two untruths at once. The first is that worship is something that can start and stop, and worse, that music or some other artistic or human device bears the responsibility for doing the starting or the facilitating.
The second is related to the first: music and the arts have a kind of power in themselves that can be falsely related to or equated with Spirit power, so much so that the presence of God seems all the more guaranteed and the worshiper sees this union of artistic power and Spirit power as normal, even anticipated. It is therefore of fundamental importance that all authentic worshipers be sure that they are so firmly rooted in Christ that their individuality is never lost in the rush of spiritualized sameness.
Archive Worship Resources Questions | Worship Evaluation – David W. Manner
It is further important that every authentically worshiping assembly find its local and unique place in the kingdom, not glancing over its shoulder, looking here and there for an outside stimulus to inspire and steer it. Just as it has every Sunday of the NFL season, tailgating will inevitably be a major part of the pregame activities. Most participants will select their clothes the night before so they can jump into them like firefighters the next morning. Pre-service preparation is radically different than just abdicating that responsibility to worship leaders to accomplish during the first song.
Norma de Waal Malefyt and Howard Vanderwell offer some suggestions to help us prepare for worship. It requires:. Internal preparation of heart. Yet, how often do we even ask ourselves if our hearts are ready for worship? Pre-arrival preparation. We can learn from the Jews who believe Sabbath begins at sundown. Our activities on the evening before worship will have a formative affect, positively or negatively, on our readiness for worship on Sunday morning. Also, our personal schedule between rising and the beginning of worship on Sunday morning will have a great deal of influence on our readiness of spirit.
Pre-service preparation. The short period of time between our arrival at church and the beginning of the worship service is also critical. Our interaction with friends reminds us that we are here as part of a body in relationship with others. A few moments to quiet our spirits might also enable us to leave some distractions behind and center ourselves in God. A time of reflective prayer could open our spirit to engage in a conversation with God.
Even the visual appearance of the worship space will have an impact on our readiness. So how conscious are we of these critical minutes? Since worship does not start when we enter the worship service, it should not stop when we leave it. With that understanding I would recommend a fourth suggestion to their previous list:. Post-service continuation.
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Worship continues as we leave the worship service. It continues in our homes, at our schools and through our work. This final step leads the worshiper in a continuous circle back to step one. The legend is told that when Achilles was an infant, his mother dipped him into the river Styx to make him immortal.
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So if ignored or disregarded, that weak spot could potentially lead to failure. Relational instead of musical deficiencies seem to be at the root of most of those vulnerable places. And yet, we often invest the majority of our time and attention trying to improve musically only. Aloofness Aloofness is a state of being distant, remote, withdrawn and even unapproachable.