Sunday, March 27, 2011

In Concert - March 27, 2011

Revelation 5:11-14 (New International Version, ©2011)

11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying:

“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!”

13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”

14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

As I have mentioned before, I love participating in worship on Sundays. It is my favorite time of the week. There is nothing better than gathering with other believers in concert to worship and lift praises to our God and King. Merriam Webster's Dictionary defines concert as,"an agreement in design or plan:union formed by mutual communication of opinions and views".

In the March issue of Christianity Today, there is a great article about "The Wroship of Trajectory". In it they quote Johnathan Edwards, a preacher, theologian, and missionary to Native Americans, who was widely acknowledged to be America's most important and original philosophical theologian[1] and one of America's greatest intellectuals. The article states that in a sermon entitled,"Praise, One of Chief Employments of Heaven," Johnathan Edwards explained, "Let it be considered that the church on earth is the same society with those saints who are praising God in heaven".

The article further states that, "This means that when the church gathers for worship it engages in heavenly activity. The worshiping church does not merely imitate what goes on in heaven. It participates in heaven's worship. ...We take up a theme that was begun by others before the throne of God, adding our voices to theirs."[2]

This really caught my attention, and gave me a much greater appreciation for that time we Christians spend in corporate worship. It pointed to the real resonsibilty we have as followers of Christ that we have proper focus in our praise and worship. As was mentioned also in the article, we are joining in on the worship that is always occurring before our holy God. It is more than just our personal expression and sign of our devotion that originates from us here on earth. We are merely participants in the greater worship that comes from heaven and extends down to us.

Jesus hinted at this when he rebuked the Pharisees for criticizing his followers that began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen, He said in Luke 19:40, “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” And again its mentioned in the passage above from Revelation 5:13, that "every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them" will worship and praise God.

If you enjoy worship as much as I do, you are part of a universal chorus praising our Lord and Maker, and the Lamb who is worthy of all our praises, in cocert before the throne of Heaven. If you don't enjoy worhip, or if you have yet to believe in the One who can save you from this world and bless you with eternity, someday everyone will bow their knee in worship Him who sits on the throne. Everyone worships something; make sure you focus on the right object of your worship.

[1]Stanford Encycolpedia of Philosophy,Jonathan Edwards
First published Tue Jan 15, 2002; substantive revision Thu Aug 6, 2009
[2] Christianity Today, March 2011, Page 21

Photo from the website, 2-21-2008

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