"Unity without verity is no better than conspiracy." - John Trapp

Friday, March 21, 2008

Thoughts on Worship for Easter

I was reading chapter 2 of John Owen's Communion with the Triune God this evening, and came across the following quote (p. 97):
Faith, love, trust, joy, etc., are the natural or moral worship of God, whereby those in whom they are have communion with him.
I remember sitting in a Sunday morning service as a young believer (less than 2 years after the Father had drawn me to His Son) listening to a sermon where worship was mentioned. Not having grown up in church, it was a word I knew, but not a word with which I had wrestled. I made a note to myself: "What is worship?"

I'm not so young a believer anymore, that sermon being over 20 years in the past. But sometimes I still wonder how well I understand what worship is. It does, I believe, occur when we gather together and sing praises to God and offer up our prayers to Him and listen to the proclamation of His word.

But Owen has written what I have long struggled to formulate in my own mind. Worship of God is in large part a display of His image within us. That image being things like faith, love, trust, joy, hope, peace, etc. It is in this worship that we have the deepest communion with God.

Here the sun has set on Good Friday. In the time we are honoring and remembering, Jesus is in the tomb, and the disciples are scattered and hiding. But hope was not gone, just hidden, wrapped in a veil of death. So also hope may seem to be gone from some of our lives.

May we in those darkest nights worship God by believing, by loving, by trusting, by rejoicing and by hoping even though all reason for hope seems gone. Gazing not only at the cross but also at the empty tomb and knowing that our greatest enemies have been defeated by Jesus, who has promised to never leave us or forsake us.

Happy Easter. The Lord has risen!

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