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Pastor's Monthly Newsletter Message

August 2007

Thoughts From the Pastors...


Thinking About Worship

     If you’re like most people, you spend very little time thinking about why you worship. On Sunday morning, you just show up and do it without thought.  When I was growing up in the church, I usually attended worship.  Looking back, I’m not sure why.  Some mornings I showed up delighted to be there, some mornings I was so tired I didn’t pay much attention.  I never gave much thought to how things were put together or the purpose of why I was there. Worship was just something I did. 

     At seminary, I attended a worship class where we were asked the question, Who is the audience for worship?  Well of course the way that the sanctuary is designed and where the attention is focused, the first thought that entered my mind was the congregation is the audience.  My seminary professor was quick to point out…wrong answer!  He explained that the audience for worship is God.  That revelation is probably not too shocking, as worship is naturally a time to focus on God, to be attentive to God’s voice through scripture, prayer, music and the word.  Even though it’s not shocking, think about what that means.  If God is the audience then rather than asking the question do I like this song or prayer?  A more helpful question would be, is this offering of music or prayer pleasing to God?  

     Keeping in mind what the purpose of worship is can transform the worship experience for us as we are mindful of how we are offering ourselves to God.  As we come to worship, are we attempting to tune into God’s presence and power?  As we come to worship are we opening ourselves to what God has to say?  As we come to worship are we praying for those who lead and for the community that is around us?  As we come to worship, are we offering our best to God or are we too distracted, annoyed, or worried to be present?         

     Thinking about worship can make the experience of worship more significant.  This is one of the reasons we placed headings in the bulletin as a reminder that worship is about God and our experience with God.  We begin with the Experience of Coming Before God as we gather together, we move to the Experience of God’s Forgiveness and Reconciliation as we are reminded of our need for God and reconciliation, then we move to the Experience of Hearing God’s Word which prompts us into the Experience of Responding to God’s Word, until finally, we move to the Experience of Being Sent into the World to Act on God’s Behalf.  As we gather together in the weeks ahead let us continue to think about what we are doing and why we are doing it.  And let us wonder together if  our worship is  pleasing to God!