Wednesday, July 1, 2009

That's why we sing

If you are planning on gathering with other believers at the mission we call First Presbyterian Church, then you need to read Psalm 47 as good preparation for worship.

After all, the reasons why we gather are not complicated. We gather each week to worship God and God alone. God is the object, the subject, the purpose and the reason for our time together. So we look upward in worship.

But we also gather to encourage each other. Jesus said the greatest commandment calls us to love God and love our neighbor (Matthew 22: 37-39). In worship, love of neighbor means encouraging each other in the word of God; in the practice of all the Christian virtues. So we look beyond ourselves to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4

Placed in this light, is there any reason why we should exchange Christian community and worship for all the things that we deem so important? I think not.

Notice in this Psalm the activities of those who worship God in the context of Christian community:
1. Clapping, shouting, singing Psalm 47: 1
2. Meditating or acknowledging the greatness of God our King Psalm 47: 2-4
3. Singing praises Psalm 47: 5-7
4. Extolling the greatness of God's reign over all earthly powers Psalm 47: 8-9

This is so basic and foundational to the Christian life. The best thing we can do with our time is to worship God. True-hearted worship re-calibrates our inner being. The world, sin, temptation, conflict, the devil, financial pressures, pleasures, work, slowly but surely shred our spirit. When we gather before God and remember that He reigns from heaven on earth, we are restored and renewed to live christianly in our sin-soaked world.

I hope to see you all in full force this Sunday excited for the chance to declare His majesty!

Father, O what peace we often forfeit, what needless pain we bear, what unnecessary burdens weigh us down; all because we do not take time to worship you in Spirit and in Truth. Forgive us for placing pleasure about praise and worship. As we gather this Sunday with other hungry believers may your name be exalted at FPC. Amen