My call...

Romans 10:13-14 (NLT)
For “EVERYONE who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Why do we worship God!

We worship God because we were created to worship Him. In order to sustain this claim, let me use what Constance M. Cherry wrote on her book The Worship Architect that “Worship is the expression of a relationship in which God the Father reveals himself and his love in Christ, and by his Holy Spirit administers grace, to which we respond in faith, gratitude, and obedience”.

It is important to clarify then that God indeed created us to relate to us, to have a relationship with humanity. The book of Genesis says clearly that we were created by God, (Genesis 1:27 “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them”; Genesis 5:1 “This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God.”), and it is in the book of Leviticus and Deuteronomy when God clearly instituted a relationship with the people of Israel with the intention to remain associated with them as their God and them as God’s people. (Leviticus 26:12 “I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.” Deuteronomy 30:19b-20 “Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”) Lastly, it is in the Gospel of John in which we can found the assurance that the relationship that God intended with the ancient Israel, it is also intended to the rest of the world (John 3:16 “"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”, John 14:21 “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.")

Now then, we can move forward with the assurance that we were created to have a relationship with God, and now then lets attempt to sustain how that relationship should be expressed through our worship. I may suggest that Cherry’s definition of worship is grounded in two main elements: God’s revelation towards humanity and our response.

The first element, God’s revelation in love towards humanity it is manifest in its major expression in the form of Jesus Christ (his birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection). But it is very important to recall that God’s revelation in love towards us has been manifest since the creation, the fall, and the journey of Israel. Therefore, in worship we are remembering what God has been doing among His people, his saving acts in history, his mighty deeds and we are narrating His whole story. Remembering the powerful past keeps God’s community from forgetting God’s love and fidelity from generation to generation, and it is through “historical recitation and dramatic reenactment” that we are able to do that during our worship services.

The second element, is our response in faith, gratitude and obedience through the grace administrated by the Holy Spirit. Since God’s major expression of love is grounded in the life of Jesus Christ, and as Christians we are expecting for His returning, therefore our response in worship reflect our anticipation to the future. Through our worship we connect the past with the future by participating with God in the recasting of his original vision (the culmination of all history in the new heavens and new earth), which it should be what shapes our ethical behavior to reflect the kingdom ethics on earth. It is vital to recognize that it is only through the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit that we are able to move towards that direction in our daily lives and in our worship services, and that should be manifest in our expressions of faith, gratitude and obedience.

Therefore we may conclude that we worship God as individuals and as communities of faiths (corporal), because we acknowledge and remember God’s love in the past and crowned in Jesus Christ (Good News), and we are participates of the anticipation of His returning by responding through the grace of the Holy Spirit with our expressions of faith, gratitude and obedience.

This is just my interpretation, and I hope it may enrich your life.

Blessings, Rodrigo