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Worship is vital. It’s the heart of who we are. But how do y do it? Is there a right,, and thus necessarily a wrong way to do it? Is it about God or us? Is it what we do in the church or in the world? Is it traditional, classic, modern, emergent, tried and true our out-dated? Should it be the same each week, or different? Is it something you do, watch, participate in, or observe? Do we do it because if what God has done or who God is?
We might have different answers to all those questions, but when we use specific words their historical context and meaning are always present. The word worship means to ascribe or worth to someone or something, to act in away that lifts something up as worthy. The word liturgy, often used to describe the parts of or style of worship, literally means the work of the people. So these words point to our gatherings as a community as a time of work for us to do together to proclaim or name the ways in why God is worthy of our work, praise and love.
Look at Psalm 98. It lifts up God as worthy of worship, but for what reasons?
Look at Isaiah 58, what are the critiques of the people’s worship made by God through the voice of the prophet? What is the promise if the people return to right worship?
How do you experience our worship at CAPC Oakland as similar and/or different from the messages of those two texts? For you, what is the connection between worship and service?; worship and community?; worship and personal faith?
Worship is the primary thing that we do and share as a congregation. It’s the space and place in which we gather together to allow and ask God to shape and reshape us in the image of the resurrected one. As living disciples, it’s what defines us. And yet, often we leave worship with feelings of frustration, not liking what happened, criticism, or even indifference or apathy. The scriptures point to worship as something that we’re invited to in response to what God is and has done. It’s a way of life, a connection between body, heart and soul, between thought, belief and action, between God, us, and our neighbors.
Questions for going deeper: