Worshipping Together

Hello everyone!
I truly hope you have had an awesome week so far. On Sunday Gabriel shared with us about worship. He shared the importance of singing and musical worship within the broader context of worship as a whole. Some folks don’t really understand why we need to sing. Some folks don’t enjoy singing and have very little space for music in their lives. Understandably, this can be an uncomfortable experience for them. But as we heard from Gabriel, and saw in the Biblical text, musical praise is very present with God’s people. Music and singing were huge with the Israelites. The Psalms are SONGS! Jesus sang hymns with his disciples. The apostles sang together, and encouraged each other to keep singing. We even see snapshots of heaven and there is singing there.

Please know that I am not trying to say that Heaven is an eternal church service in the sky. I think there will be many different dimensions to our eternal praise of God just as there are different dimensions here. We praise God not just with our words, but also with how we live. I see no reason to assume heaven will be different. However, we do see that musical worship is present in heaven. In other words, musical worship is meant to be very much a reality to God’s people.

I’m going to step out on a limb and give some thoughts on musical worship that are a bit more experiential since Gabriel gave such a fantastic biblical exposition. Please check it out on our sermon player!

Two things I’ve noticed about worship:
1) Worship can create a space
Years ago, Debbi and I went to pray for a lady in our church who was encountering demonic oppression. We began to pray and inquired of the Lord what He would have us do and He led us to praise the name of Jesus! I believe that night, when we praised Jesus’ name, it opened a space in that darkness to do battle. Worship creates space.
Another example occurred years ago when I was at a concert. My favorite band, Switchfoot, opened the show, and a non-Christian band whose name I cannot even remember followed them up. Switchfoot comes out and just blows us away. They are singing about hope and redemption, and Jesus, praising Him. The minute the other band comes on the stage the music was really good, well executed, but the attitudes and the hearts of the band, the music was no longer praising Jesus. It felt like all the peace and the presence of God evaporated or got sucked out of the room. It was so noticeable. We left shortly after that. Worship creates a space.
I know it sounds weird, but consider this with me- doesn’t the world feel a little more peaceful, a little more hopeful in church? Well, it feels that way to me… Hahaha! There’s something about believers together worshipping. It’s hard to describe.

2) Musical Worship helps biblical truth sink deeper
When I was growing up, we sang small songs that were simply scripture.
For example:
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loveth is born of God and knoweth God, he that loveth not (Clap, Clap, Clap) knoweth not God, for God is love… Beloved, let us love one another first John 4 7 and 8.”

“As the deer panteth for the water so my soul longeth after thee…”

“I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me…”

These are just 3 examples of many songs we’ve sung. Even modern day worship music, if it’s decent, has scripture all over it. I once heard Tim Keller say there seems to be a power to singing scripture that allows us to memorize it more effectively, and give us another vehicle to reflect upon it and even feel it. I think this is SO TRUE! I’ve learned wonderful truths and have been ministered to deeply by worship music.

These are 2 quick observations, and I’m sure there are more. I invite you this week to pick a worship song to listen to. Consider the lyrics and see what scripture they come from. If you cannot think of one I will give you an example:

Check out this link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gaFm-MpxBw

This is called Creation Song (By Fernando Ortega), can you find where this song comes from?
-Pastor Ryan