6 Jan 2012

Unceasing Worship

Posted by Joanna

There is a popular analogy that describes the thought process of men as a waffle and that of women as spaghetti. Generally speaking, men tend to compartmentalize their thinking in such a way that it takes energy to go from one thought process to another (imagine syrup going from one waffle square to the next), whereas women very naturally and very easily go from one topic to another (imagine a plate of intertwined and interconnected spaghetti noodles).

Christian culture in this day and age is waffle-brained. We compartmentalize every aspect of our lives in such a way that it takes energy to climb out of one compartment into the next. Our church lives are disconnected from our home life, while our home life is separated from our work/school life. Furthermore, many of us have social lives and hobbies that are separate from those altogether.  It takes a certain amount of mental, physical, emotional preparation to go from one event to the next. We have church on Saturdays and Sundays, piano on Mondays, Chinese School on Tuesdays, sports on Wednesdays and Fridays, and then the cycle repeats.

Needless to say, this picture of life in our modern-day church culture looks a lot different from the early church as described in the Bible.  The book of Acts describes a community in which the life of the church permeates every aspect of life (Acts 2).  In other words, the church was spaghetti-brained in those early days. Rather than going from one program to the next, the life of the church was played out throughout all 7 days of the week. Everything was connected somehow. Everything they did and every major decision they made in their lives had implications for the church community as a whole (Acts 2:44-45).  Most importantly, they had a deep sense that everything they did was for the gospel of their Lord and Saviour who called their community into being.

This year, our theme at PGMBC is “Unceasing Worship.” When we say this, we do not mean that we are to come to church every day of the week.  What we are saying is that all of life is lived to bring glory to God and that this is to happen in every sphere of life whether it’s in our workplaces, schools, homes, or church. When Paul describes our body as the temple of God, he means that our bodies is where worship takes place, not the physical church building (1 Cor 3:16). Harold Best defines worship as the “continuous outpouring of all that I am, all that I do and all that I can ever become in light of [God].”[1]

All of life is worship.  We need to be less waffle-brained and more spaghetti brained. In the life of the church, worship is what happens when the gospel calls us to be the people of God.  In other words, worship encapsulates everything we do in response to him since we are called together “that [we] may declare the praises of him who called [us] out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).  We are not saying that every single thing we do is an act of worship (since we are sinners), but what we are saying is that everything we do in loving response to the outpouring of God is.  Therefore, everything we do should be worship.  Worship is the only appropriate posture to take before a righteous God who gives up everything so that we could have everything.  

Over the next several weeks, our sermon series is entitled (of course) “Unceasing Worship.” We will be exploring ways in which this idea of living a life of worship is worked out in our lives. In particular, we begin today by looking at our idols and how they affect our worship of God. In the following weeks, we’ll explore worship as it relates to surrender, repentance, discipleship and community, among other things.

My prayer for all us in 2012 is that as we journey together, that we would be less waffle-brained and more spaghetti-brained, that we can learn to become true worshippers in every facet of life, that we’d be able to experience the fullness of life that Jesus came to give, that we would respond to this amazing gift with the exuberant joy, gratitude and praise that only He deserves, and, ultimately, that we would do all of this together.

God bless,

Pastor Keith

[1] Harold Best Unceasing Worship (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2003) p. 18.

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