Here is pt. 2 of the Sunday bulletin series I am doing. This is the unprinted version. I am going to remove the “Maybe this” paragraph for print. This is sort of like the deleted scenes version. Once again, kudos to my friend Dan Morris for help on this topic.
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So what is worship? How do we approach worship? Is it something that can be defined? Let’s take a quick look at history.
The Israelites had been crying out in captivity for 400 years. No response. Within a very short period of time, God makes himself known powerfully. Plague after plague strikes their captors. Release comes. Millions line up and march out of Egypt. They find themselves trapped against the Red Sea, only to see it lifted out of the way. Finally, they stand before the mountain of God, covered in fire, thunder, and lightning. The earth trembles.
What would it have been like to be there? They were instructed to erect a fence so that not even an animal would touch a single stone of the mountain. God was going to descend upon it in full view of the people and they had three days to prepare. Four hundred years of silence and now you have 72 hours to get ready. How do you approach holiness and not be changed forever? What do you say in the presence of Jehovah?
Maybe this… “Why don’t they sing that tambourine song they used to sing? I really liked it when Miriam sang that song. Why don’t they sing old songs like that again?” Or maybe, “ I wish Aaron would lead worship. I don’t really like it when Moses leads worship. Too slow. I’d just as soon go home.” How about, “All this smoke and fire and trembling, that’s too formal. I like a relaxed atmosphere. Why does it have to be so formal?” Or possibly, “Three days to get ready for worship? Doesn’t he know we have things to do? If he talks that long, I’m out’a here.”
Would you say something like that in the presence of Jehovah? And today, what do we say in the presence of the Holy? We may not have a mountain of fire, but He is here nonetheless. God has descended upon us in full view. As we worship together, God inhabits our praise. The spiritual foundations of the earth tremble as the worship of his people is lifted high. The “how” of worship takes a distant second place to the “why.” Could it be that part of true worship is in understanding His presence and reverence at the awe of his majesty?
Oh God, we come seeking your presence, your mercy and your power. Help us to have eyes that see you and hearts that reverence your holiness. May our worship honor you and you alone.