Tuesday, February 6, 2007

The Order of Worship

When music is selected by style in order that it “speak to the worshiper” in a cultural sense or that it fulfills the subjective requirements of being music that “helps me to worship,” the music and the worship become self-indulgent, appealing to the needs and wants of the individual as opposed to focusing exclusively on God-–the sole object of worship. The music and structure of worship must be consistent with a Biblical objective standard of what God desires and with what is appropriate to enter his presence. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:28-29)

The medium of worship must fit the message in its execution and purpose. Truth should be stated in a manner worthy of the Truth, and the form of the worship is inseparable from its content. Therefore, we ought to carefully consider the congruous nature, philosophy, and worldview of the lyrics with music and of the other elements that comprise worship. This means that we will often not be in accord with current tastes, trends, and preferences; however, worship should elevate our thoughts beyond the temporal things of this world and to the throne of God.

Our God is a God of order, and our worship should reflect that divine attribute. As such, worship should be organized with a liturgy that reflects, encourages, and fosters a better understanding of our relationship with God. From the Call to Worship through the Eucharist, the worshipper will move from an exaltation of the nature of God, an understanding of God’s law and his inability to keep it, confession of sin and the personal need for a redeemer, a restoration into the fellowship of God and other believers, and a sending forth into the world as His representative sustained by the food of heaven. Creation, Fall, Redemption, Consummation. This is the flow of the gospel; this is the flow of worship.

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