By Not Known
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise… For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever… Psalm 100:4-5
If you’ve been attending ORPC regularly, you probably have noticed that after the Prelude and Entry of the Bible, we start our worship service with a Call to Worship. I want to share some thoughts about why we do this as well as challenge you to come early so that you don’t miss this important element of the worship service.
The Call to Worship is God’s call to the community of believers to worship Him. It is both an invitation and a command. “Shout for joy to the Lord… Worship the Lord with gladness; Come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God.” (Ps 100:1-3).
Through the reading of the Word, the Call to Worship reminds us why we have gathered together and what we have come to do. We are forgetful people and after a week of being immersed in the world, we need to be reminded who we are and to whom we belong. Jeffrey Truscott in his book Twelve Whys of Worship says, “Remembering is no small matter… but it is something else if we forget the values and commitments that form our identity as people…”
The Call to Worship urges us to shift our focus to God. Work, family and other issues sometimes distract and hinder us from worshipping in spirit and truth. Shifting our attention to God prompts the community of believers to respond to His revelation and redemption. It is our obligation and privilege to respond positively and appropriately in praise, prayer, repentance, giving and commitment.
Worship is all about God. Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), a Danish philosopher and theologian, says: “in authentic Christian worship, the congregation is the performer, the preachers and other ministers are the prompters and God is the only audience.”
So what is worship? Worship is both a concept and a relationship. Wiliam Temple (1881-1944), a renowned teacher and preacher, says “to worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, and to devote the will to the purpose of God.”
Every Sunday, through the call to worship, we are reminded that we do not belong to this world. We are the called out ones, the (Church) ekklesia. We come to meet Him, to honour Him, to be transformed into His likeness. So, come early next week as one body. Let us obey the call, and partake the entire feast that is laid before us.