I am in the middle of preaching a series called iWorship at church. I've been taking a look at what worship is; who we worship; why we worship; and how we worship. I think it will be a four part series...we'll be on part 3 this Sunday. If you go to www.avenueumc.com/listen you can find a link to the sermons.
The first week, our main point was worship is our response to who God is. I focused much of our conversation of the majesty and holiness of God. We looked at the Creation account in Genesis and Isaiah chapters 6 and 40 as we considered the bigness of God. The challenge was to enlarge our image of who God is, and then to respond in worship.
This past Sunday our main point was worship is our response to what God has done. Starting in the Exodus account, we went through God's activity in redeeming humanity and extending grace and mercy to us. This culminated in the salvific sacrifice of Jesus Christ- who is the final sacrifice for our sin. We talked about how to worship is to remember. As those who worship God, we must always remember what God has done for us.
This Sunday's sermon is called The Dangerous Act of Worship. Part of this is inspired from the book by the same name. The book is by Mark Labberton and I highly recommend it to everyone. It will challenge your view of worship week in and week out. The premise of this week's message is that when we enlarge our vision of God, when we remember what God has done we respond, not by greater sacrifices or acts of worship, but by the words of Micah 6:8, "What does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." True worship focuses our heart on the things that are close to the heart of God- the poor, the oppressed, the outcast, the widow, the orphan, etc. It is not truly worship if we write a big check or raise our hands in worship and ignore the injustices that happen in our world.
I'm working on the sermon now, and I've been excited about getting to this week. I'm hoping this will begin a conversation in our members and our church about what it really means to worship God.