At this particular moment in the ongoing history of our church, the LORD is calling us to remember who we are: “Immanuel, God with us for the sake of others.” This past Sunday we focused on the vocation conveyed in our name—To be with God, and to join with Him in cultivating Shalom and Sabbath in this world, and in the world to come. Our with-ness is our witness, a union and a mission realized through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
This week we will give our attention to the primary way we experience and express life with God – Worship. In contemporary Christian culture, that word quickly turns our thoughts toward music, or perhaps to a Sunday church service. The biblical understanding of worship, however, is a life-encompassing orientation that forms our desires, our values, and our choices. We are created to worship God, to enjoy, revere, and obey him. Apart from Jesus, however, our nature bends away from worship of our Creator toward worship of other things, resulting in the malformation of our lives.
With Jesus, right worship is renewed. “In this encounter God (re)makes and molds us top-down. Worship is the arena in which God recalibrates our hearts, reforms our desires, and rehabituates our loves. Worship isn’t just something we do; it is where God does something to us” (James K.A. Smith).
Our Sunday services, of course, are indeed a vital part of our worship of God. Whatever in the past week may have disrupted your affections or distracted your attention, this day beckons you back into our life with God — together receiving again in Liturgy, Word, and Sacrament the grace flowing from the Father, through Jesus, by the Spirit to remember who we are.
O come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.
Your Pastor in Christ,