Repentance and Worship
Thoughts driving me to Jesus, and to the Altar/Cross:
For seven days all the people of Israel who were present celebrated the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. 18Since the days of the prophet Samuel, the Passover had never been celebrated like this. None of the former kings had ever celebrated a Passover like this one celebrated by King Josiah, the priests, the Levites, and the people of Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem 19in the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign. 2 Chron. 35:17-19 GNT
True penitence or contrition flows out of love for God and righteousness. Without such love it is impossible for man to hate and detest sin and to repent of it. An important problem in the doctrine of repentance, therefore, is the question of the origin, or creation, of such love in the human heart. Is it the result of man’s own efforts, or is it the work of God?
Staupitz answers the question by saying that such a love for God and His will is the product of two factors: (1) the revelation of the love of God in Christ and in His suffering for men, and (2) the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of man. “The love of Christ kindles the spirit of the bride (that is, man).” “Love for God is created by the revelation of the love of God toward us.”56
The event that resoluted in the marvelous celebration of the passover was the finding the word of God, reading it, and realizing not only that the people of God were guilty of sin, but that there was a way that resulted in the people being free of the bondage created by that sin.
A freedom that was foretold in the story of the passover, a story that Israel was commanded to keep, that they would remember the love of God that assured them of His work in their lives.
It is with this hope, that they celebrated the freedom won for them, and the ultimate freedom that would occur when the Messiah came. And even only with hope of the future, the people of God threw a party that would be memorable throughout history!
How much more should we, who have that hope fulfilled in Jesus, celebrate the love of God, show to us in Christ Jesus? We have the two things necessary to love God – His love fully revealed, and the love of the Holy Spirit dwelling in our hearts! We should be as excited to see God at work in our lives as the bride is, as she looks down the aisle to see her about to be husband.
The key to worship is not found in the band or organ, the type of music or when it was written. The key is the gift of repentance, the work that the Spirit does in transforming us, as we learned we are love, as we learn to love. The result is worship like hasn’t been experienced before, for it changes from being based on the future, to being based in the present.
It all boils down to the relationship and realizing what God is do in this relationship…
Uuras Saarnivaara, Luther Discovers the Gospel: New Light upon Luther’s Way from Medieval Catholicism to Evangelical Faith (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2003), 22–23.