Why we Worship

PSALM 47

Clap your hands, all peoples!
  Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
For the LORD, the Most High, is to be feared,
  a great king over all the earth.
He subdued peoples under us,
  and nations under our feet.
He chose our heritage for us,
  the pride of Jacob whom he loves.

God has gone up with a shout,
  the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
  Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
  sing praises with a psalm!

Why Sing?

God reigns over the nations;
  God sits on his holy throne.
The princes of the peoples gather
  as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
  he is highly exalted!


Why Scripture?



 
Wonder


Recent Posts

God? Who Needs Him?
May 31, 2013
Self-sufficient humanism. Paul saw it coming – “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”

Imago Dei
September 12, 2012
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Why Can't I Pray?
August 18, 2012
The bible gives us several reasons, but according to Jeremy Taylor, a deceitful heart is at the root of prayerlessness.

It's Not Rocket Science
July 23, 2012
To keep in step with the Spirit should be our daily quest. And if we are successful at that, all of life falls into place.

Theological Steak
April 10, 2012
These words by P. T. Forsythe on the magnificence of Christ's work are to theology what Ruth's Chris is to a good steak.

Describing the Indescribable
February 11, 2012
What we have in Christ will take all eternity to describe. But for one segment of one sermon, a great preacher made a mighty attempt.

Making Sense Of It All
January 30, 2012
Where are things headed? Is there rhyme and reason to the endless cycle of summer, fall, winter and spring? Is there a plan in place, or is randomness the explanation?

Describing the Indescribable

February 11, 2012

What we have in Christ will take all eternity to describe. But for one segment of one sermon, a great preacher made a mighty attempt.


What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” -  the things God has prepared for those who love him—these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10

Describing the glory that is our God in syllables is an impossible task, but the great wordsmith Jeremy Taylor in a sermon on the Holy Spirit makes a noble attempt:

For what power of human understanding could have found out the incarnation of a God, that two natures - one finite and the other infinite - could have been concentered into one hypostasis or person...

that a virgin should be a mother...

that dead men should live again, that the ashes of dissolved bones should become bright as the sun, blessed as the angels, swift in motion as thought, clear as the purest noon...

that God should love us, as to be willing to be reconciled to us, and yet that himself must die that he might pardon us...

that God's most holy Son should give us his body to eat, and his blood to crown our chalices, and his Spirit to sanctify our souls, to turn our bodies into temperance, our souls into minds, our minds into spirit, our spirit into glory...

that he, who can give us all things, who is Lord of men and angels, and King of all the creatures, should pray to God for us without intermission...

that he, who reigns over all the world, should, at the day of judgment, "give up the kingdom to God the Father," and yet, after this resignation, himself and we with him should for ever reign the more gloriously...

that we should be justified by faith in Christ...

that charity should be a part of faith, and that both should work as acts of duty and as acts of relation...

that God should crown the imperfect endeavors of his saints with glory, and that a human act should be rewarded with an eternal inheritance...

that the wicked, for the transient pleasure of a few minutes, should be tormented with an absolute eternity of pains...

and, after all this, that all Christian people, all that will be saved, will be partakers of the divine nature, of the nature, the infinite nature, of God, and must dwell in Christ, and Christ must dwell in them, and they must be in the Spirit, and the Spirit must be for ever in them?

Be still my beating heart....

 






After The Bread And Cup

July 5, 2010

Communion is a privilege for the believer that has no parallel. It is impossible to plumb the depths of its significance, and expressing appropriate gratitude is daunting. Lancelot Andrewes helps us, with his gift for words.


Lancelot Andrewes (1555 – 25 September 1626) was an English clergyman and scholar, who held high positions in the Church of England during the reigns of Queen Elizabeth I and King James I. During the latter's reign, Andrewes served successively as Bishop of Chichester, Ely and Winchester and oversaw the translation of the Authorized Version (or King James Version) of the Bible.

He was chaplain to reigning monarchs for forty years; not only holding influential positions but also ministering to many who held important positions of State.

Still, his congregations came from all walks of life, apart from royalty, politicians and gentry, there were actors, artisans, musicians, students, common folk and clerics

T. S. Eliot was a fan of Andrewes, calling him "the first great preacher of the English Catholic Church" who always spoke as "a man who had a formed visible Church behind him, who speaks with the old authority and the new culture, whilst his sermons "rank with the finest English prose of their time, of any time."

A man of prayer and learning, each day of his life, from 4 am to noon was spent in prayer and study. Wow. Just wow.

Who has not taken of the bread and the cup, and not been overwhelmed with the grace of God, that we have been given such a privilege? The following is a prayer composed by Andrewes that articulates for us those feelings, and verbalizes proper gratitude in a sprit of humility.

If all the creatures in the world should offer themselves together with me to praise thee, O Lord, yet is it certain that we could not give thee sufficient thanks for the least of thy mercies; and if together we cannot sufficiently praise thee for the least, how much less can I alone perform so great a duty, for such inestimable blessings, as I have at this time received; for vouchsafing to visit me, comfort me, and honour me with acceptance   and admittance to thy blessed table.

If Elizabeth, the mother of John Baptist, upon the Virgin Mary’s entrance to her house) said, Whence is it that the Mother of my Lord should come to me? What shall I say, whom the Lord himself hath visited and united to him, by his blessed Sacrament, being a vessel and receptacle of all impurity, who hath so often affended, despited and neglected him?

King David wondered why God should so esteem of, or visit man; but I wonder much more, why he should be made man for man, abide with him, suffer death for him, and give himself to him for spiritual food. Solomon, after he had built a temple to God, reasoned thus: But will God dwell indeed on the earth? Behold the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee, how much less this house, that I have builded?

May not I much more marvel, that God  will not disdain to come and abide in this my poor and wretched soul?

What greater benefit or grace, what greater argument of his love is there, can there be showed to me?

Oh my soul, if thou wouldest but thoroughly conceive the happiness that cometh to thee by this holy Sacrament, then consider and well weigh, what benefits it bringeth with it. By it the sons of men are made the sons of God, and all that is earthly or carnal in us is mortified, that the Deity may live and abide with us.

What therefore, O my Lord, shall I do?

What thanks shall I render to thee?

With what fervency shall I love thee? For if thou, so mighty  a Lord, hast vouchsafed to love me, poor wretched creature, how should it be, but that I should return love again to thee?

And how shall I express my love better, than in forbearing those things which thou dost abhor, and following those things which thou dost command?

Give, O Lord, to this end thy concomitant grace to me, whereby I may return a reciprocal love to thee, and love those things, which are acceptable to thee, and avoid those things, which are to thee unpleasing.

Give me a heart, which may love thee with so true, faithful, and constant affection, as that nothing under the sun may separate me from the love of thee.

Let me not follow the love of the world, or delight in the vanities of it any longer: but give me power to kill and quench all other love and desires, and to love thee only, desire thee only, and only think of thee, and thy commandments: that all my affections and thoughts may be fixed on thee; that in all temptations and adversities, I may have recourse to thee only, and receive all comfort from thee alone, who livest and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen.






Think About His Love
March 3, 2009
Meditating on the love of God is faith-energizing, hope-building, and the opposite of wasting time. Comprehending God is impossible, but the little we can know will be health and life to our soul.

Choiring The Proper Praise
February 18, 2009
Who has not been wowed by the majesty of a mountain, or a hummingbird flapping his wings two feet away? There is no end to earthly delights, in all shapes and sizes. And they all point us to our Creator, and praise, whether we like it or not.

Never Lose The Wonder
October 16, 2008
Part of the effects of the Fall is that we get bored. And when the truly valuable loses its luster, we start exploring options. If the subject is grace and we get bored - then the loss is truly great. The appropriate response to grace is wonder.

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made #2
October 12, 2008
Isaac Newton pondered,"Was the eye contrived without skill in optics, and the ear without knowledge of sounds?” The more we know about our bodies, the more our wonder expands. Or at least it should.





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