What brings you to worship? What keeps you coming back. Most important of all, why are you there in the first place? The Presbyterian Book of Order, in its Directory for Worship, provides the “official Presbyterian” reason for worship: “Christian worship joyfully ascribes all praise and honor, glory and power, to the triune God. In worship, the people of God acknowledge God present in their world and in their lives. As they respond to God’s claim and redemptive action in Jesus Christ, believers are transformed and renewed. In worship, the faithful offer themselves to God and are equipped for God’s service in the world.” Notice that in worship we respond (to God) but we are also transformed and renewed (by God). We offer ourselves (to God) but we are then equipped. The 19th century Danish Christian philosopher Soren Kierkegaard (SK) spoke of the ‘theater of worship, believing that many Christians saw themselves as the “audience” for worship: passive recipients of the choir music, and prayers. SK turned that idea around and proposed that it is God who is the true audience for worship. Pastor Anthony Robinson explains it this way: “In one way of looking at worship, the actors are the preacher, the choirs, the liturgists and musicians. The audience is then the congregation, which settles into its place to be touched, badgered (!), inspired or entertained by the actors…..but where is God…nowhere to be found. But re-frame the theater of worship this way: the actors in the worship drama are members of the congregation. Worship leaders are just that-leaders and prompters of the congregation’s worship of God. . .God is the audience for the church’s worship. God has become the object and focus of our worship, not ourselves.” Our scriptures for Sunday are Acts 17:22-29 and Revelation 7: 9-17. Read them before Sunday and think about what worship means to you.
Now we’ve caught up!