Sermon Notes 1.19.2020

1-19-20               Sermon Notes                  “Connecting With God Through Worship”  #Connect2020
Almost 20 years ago now, Dr. Tom Long wrote a book entitled, Beyond the Worship Wars.  “Worship…Wars?” you might ask.  It seems funny to say “wars” in connection with worship – but make no mistake…there is a long-standing, tense debate over worship – where, how, etc…”  (Dr. Long’s book is about how to get beyond the “style” of worship and get to the heart of what makes for vital worship). 
How far back does the debate go…to the advent of “contemporary” worship, with guitars and drums?  Think earlier than that.
We could take a trip back to Jesus’ day and see the debate there.  When Jesus went through Samaria and was talking with the “woman at the well,” the talk turned to worship “wars.”  Perhaps because Jesus had turned the conversation a little too close to home, the Samaritan woman said, “Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.” (John 4: 20)  Jesus didn’t want to debate the “where.”  He told here that true worship was “in spirit and truth.” (John 4: 24)  The “where” was not the most important factor…  And Jesus didn’t even touch on “how” -  music styles…
We could take a trip back to the Old Testament.  When it comes to connecting to God through worship, I don’t think we could go wrong by seeing what King David said.  When the Ark of the Covenant was brought to Jerusalem and placed in the tabernacle – the tent that David had pitched for it – David appointed people to minister before the Ark, and he wrote a worship Psalm.  Here is the portion of that Psalm we will use Sunday -    
23 Sing to the Lord, all the earth.
 Tell of his salvation from day to day.
24 Declare his glory among the nations,
 his marvelous works among all the peoples.
25 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
 he is to be revered above all gods.
26 For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
 but the Lord made the heavens.
27 Honor and majesty are before him;
 strength and joy are in his place.
28 Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
 ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
29 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
 bring an offering, and come before him.
Worship the Lord in holy splendor;  (1 Chr. 16: 23-29  NRSV)
This passage touches on the who, what, when, where, why, and how of worship.  What is vital?  What is optional?  We will consider all these, and the way that worship connects us to God.  I look forward to worshiping with you, whether at Mosaic, Thursday night worship, Celebration or Traditions.
Grace and peace,
Pastor Sam

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