“The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like aspring of water, whose waters never fail.” – Isaiah 58:11
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE READING: Isaiah 57-60
Since March, our understanding and experience of worship has changed dramatically. For several weeks, we were forced into an online worship experience. I have heard from some of you who have loved the online worship, and others who are not fans. Recently, we find ourselves in another adaptation of worship as we have begun to gather again for worship in person on Sunday mornings. The look and feel is different, and some of you have said that you like the changes while others do not. So why do we worship? Why do you worship?
When the Israelites returned to Jerusalem following the exile, Isaiah addresses their worship practices in chapter 58. For many of the Israelites, their worship had become pious practices that were empty gestures. Isaiah calls them out on this and tells the Israelites to examine their heart as they prepare for worship. John Wesley used this chapter in one of his most famous sermons as he described the danger of pious practices becoming works of merit, trying to establish our own righteousness. Wesley urged the early Methodists to not fall into this trap of worship.
Today we find ourselves in a new chapter of church. Much of most of us have known our entire life about how to worship has now been stripped away from us. We are learning new ways of how to worship, and it can be hard. But I urge you to examine your heart and ask yourself, why do you worship? Because throughout time, our styles and formats of worship have changed. How we worship has always changed. But the why is the key. We worship because God has been revealed to us and our worship is our response to God’s amazing revelation. So let’s rejoice and be glad at what God is doing as we come together (in person and online) for worship this week.
Have a great weekend and I look forward to being with you this weekend in worship at 9:30 and 11:00, and also online!
P.S. If you have children from age 4 through 5th grade, be sure to sign up for our Mobile VBS that is happening next Friday, July 24. There is more information below. This is going to be an AMAZING event and we look forward to seeing the kids and celebrating God’s love with them.