Many of you are new to our community and church, and often one of the more challenging things is our worship services. You might describe our worship service as very traditional or you might be tempted to call it “seeker insensitive.” And as one of the disciples might have asked Jesus at one point, “What is up with that?”
The answer is that we are committed to worshipping according to Scripture. Much of modern worship has become a highly consumer-driven product, from the worship songs and bands to the architecture and messages and coffee stations, the whole thing has become oriented to the tastes and preferences of people, and often even non-Christians. But one of the central messages of the Bible is that our desires, preferences, and tastes have all been twisted by sin, especially when it comes to spiritual things. This is what idolatry is: crafting our own images of God or of what we think a god or gods ought to be. Israel, immersed in Egyptian culture, thought that the worship of Jehovah needed a golden calf and sexual immorality. Many moderns, emersed in Netflix, and Instagram, and Spotify, think that worship needs to have a lot more entertainment value.
But the Bible teaches that worship is oriented to God for our good. In Hebrews, it says that since we have come to the heavenly Mount Zion in the New Covenant, we ought to worship with more reverence and godly fear. We offer sacrifices of praise, and what we find is that in the Old Covenant, God taught His people how to approach Him through three central sacrifices: the Sin Offering, the Ascension Offering, and the Peace Offering.
This forms the center of our worship, with a Call to Worship at the beginning and the Commissioning at the end. Or you could call it the “5 Cs”: Call to Worship, Confession of Sin (Sin Offering), Consecration by the Word Read and Preached (Ascension Offering), Communion at the Lord’s Supper (Peace Offering), and the Commissioning and Benediction. As we do this, we seek to worship in the beauty of holiness, which means that we want to offer the best of our culture to the Lord. And that requires a great deal of wisdom. But that is what we aiming for.