Thoughts on Worship

25 02 2010

Hey guys,

Sorry I missed writing you last week.  I got so pre-occupied with getting ready for our Winter Retreat that it ended being Saturday evening before I finally realized I hadn’t written my devotional for you yet.  That’s my excuse…

Anyway, so we’re gearing up for our first ever Connections gathering next month.  Clear your calendars now!  Our first gathering will meet on March 28th from 3pm-6pm.  We’re still working out some of the details (such as the location) so there will be much more information to come out in the next week or so but we wanted you to get the date set.  Plan to come to this gathering.  We’ll have some time worshipping together, have some teaching and small group discussion and we’ll eat.  It’ll be great…you can bring friends too! 

So, we’ve been talking about worship and prayer the last couple weeks and I wanted to continue with that theme here some more.  At our Sundesmos Winter Retreat last year we had a great time looking at different aspects of Quakerism.  One of those was worship.  Here are some quotes we looked at from a couple different doctrinal documents, our Faith and Practice and the Richmond Declaration of Faith:

“Friends’ concept of worship is based upon the belief that the relationship between the Divine Spirit and the Christian worshiper is essentially that of parent and child, in which each may fully participate.”

(WYM Faith & Practice p. 12)

“As the worshiper waits expectantly, in humility, with praise and supplication, a sense of the living Presence of Christ brings a renewal of spiritual strength and truth is revealed.”

(WYM Faith & Practice p. 12)

“Both worship and Christian fellowship spring out of this immediate relation of believing souls with their Lord.”

(WYM Faith & Practice p. 7)

“Worship is the adoring response of the heart and mind to the influence of the Spirit of God. It stands neither in forms nor in the formal disuse of forms: it may be without words as well as with them, but it must be in spirit and in truth.”

(Richmond Declaration of Faith, Public Worship)

“By the immediate operations of the Holy Spirit, He as Head of the church, alone selects and qualifies those who are to present His messages or engage in other service for Him; and, hence, we cannot commit any formal arrangement to any one in our regular meetings for worship. We are well aware that the Lord has provided a diversity of gifts for the needs both of the church and of the world, and we desire that the church may feel her responsibility, under the government of her Great Head, in doing her part to foster these gifts, and in making arrangements for their proper exercise.”

(Richmond Declaration of Faith, Public Worship)

“The church that quenches the Spirit and lives to itself alone must die.”

(Richmond Declaration of Faith, Public Worship)

Anything strike you about these statements?

Do they encompass your experience in worship? 

The thing that sticks out predominately to me is that worship must be based in a relationship.  It is a reaction to our relationship, a response to our relationship, and a reflection of our relationship with God.  The closer we find our lives entwined with God…the easier it is to worship Him.  It is impossible not to worship Him with everything we are and to find Him to truly be everything we need.

This new song by J. J. Heller called Your Hands brought this reality into perspective for me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4gAoozKrMg&feature=related

I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn’t there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That You would take my pain away
That You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crookedly lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

When You walked upon the Earth
You healed the broken, lost, and hurt
I know You hate to see me cry
One day You will set all things right
Yea, one day You will set all things right

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

Your hands
Your hands that shape the world
Are holding me, they hold me still
Your hands that shape the world
Are holding me, they hold me still

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave You when…

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave…
I never leave Your hands

Have a wonderful week.  I hope you have some time to spend with your Heavenly Father who has you wrapped in His hands.

 To the King!

Katy

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