What Does Corporate Worship Matter?
Devotional Thought of The Day:
23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” 25 The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Then Jesus told her, “I AM the Messiah!” John 4:23-26 (NLT2)
Faced with the political and social crises of the present time and the moral challenge they offer to Christians, the problems of liturgy and prayer could easily seem to be of second importance. But the question of the moral standards and spiritual resources that we need if we are to acquit ourselves in this situation cannot be separated from the question of worship. Only if man, every man, stands before the face of God and is answerable to him, can man be secure in his dignity as a human being. Concern for the proper form of worship, therefore, is not peripheral but central to our concern for man himself.
She knew so little, but enough to hold on to some hope… … …
This lady who had depend on a guy to live, and had to depend on him in the most desperate way, still had a little of her childhood religion to cling too, but often, she must have wondered.
Many of us, even us pastors, wonder at times. in the midst of all of the broken and shattered mess of ife, wonder if that 90 minutes on Sunday, and maybe another 60 on Tuesday or Wednesday night makes a difference.
We pin our hope on the return of Jesus, and that is appropriate, but it can seem so far away, and how do we endure this moment, and the next. Will we be able to stand up after the next one?
She was standing before him, and she realized who she was, and that changed everything. A far off dream became true hope, that is what it means to find yourself in the presence of God who tells you, “I AM”
This is what should happen in worship, as we come face to face with God, who looks at our life, and smiles, and says I AM here, even as He proceeds to clean us up, to heal our brokenness, . That is why we worship together, to witness this happen in each other’s lives, as God comes to us, and reveals Himself.
I was able to witness this Sunday, as my partner in ministry was able to commune his father for the first time. I have seen it as the women abandoned finds hope for her and her two daughters. I see it in the old man broken by health, who lives each week to take the Body of Christ in hand, to pass his own hand over and caress the baptismal font. I see it in the little child who doesn’t go to church, but in its preschool answers, “God takes care of us, He gives us our food, He is always with us,” and another preschooler who scribbled, “He took our sins away, and that makes us feel better”, because they learn these things in chapel together.
In those moments, the broken words seem to have faded away. Political and social crisis don’t matter at the font and the altar.
In those moments, we realize how precious these people’s lives are.
In these precious moments, we realize He is with us! AMEN!
Joseph Ratzinger, The Feast of Faith: Approaches to a Theology of the Liturgy, trans. Graham Harrison (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1986), 7.