inSPIRE Worship

We live in an amazing era. We are surrounded by more information than at any other time in human history—literally at our fingertips! There is virtually no fact or information that you cannot look up on the internet…And yet we seem unable to translate all that information into making our lives more meaningful—and we all tend to struggle with the whole question of meaning in life. That’s not a question you can “Google” or look up on the internet and expect to find an answer in 30 seconds or less. This idea in Rev. Alan Brehm’s blog is so true.  There are no “quick fixes” to a meaningful life. In a world that vies for our attention every moment we are awake, what is a Christian to do?  In a world of chaos (whether global or personal) Christians may have only one stance we can take and that is to worship.  According to Webster’s Dictionary, 1828 Edition (these old definitions are rich with imagery), Worship is: to honor with extravagant love and extreme submission. True worship, in other words, is defined by the priority we place on who God is in our lives. This is what we strive for at Cason, to live Passionate Worship in a way that in-SPIRES HOPE. I read recently: The more we get on with celebrating who and what we are in Christ, the less consumed we will be by chaos and the more committed we will be to Christ-likeness in the world and for the world. It’s like saying, whatever is going on in my life or the world, my first response is going to be Worship God, celebrating all He has done, is doing and is about to do!

 

The shepherd king David and all the song writers of the Psalms understood this! We see it clearly in Psalm 111. If you read Hebrew you would see that this Psalm is a song…a poem really. Rev. James Limburg is a scholar and writer for the Westminster Bible Companion Series. He calls Psalm 111, “The ABC’s of Theology” (remember theology is simply the study of God). The reason is that Psalm 111 is 22 lines long and divided into 10 verses (Psalm 112 is the same – often called the “twin.”). Here’s the really neat part. Each verse is an alphabetic acrostic — with each half-verse beginning with a succeeding letter of the Hebrew alphabet, from alef to tav (in English from A to Z). Isn’t that cool? Still, as cool as the structure of the Psalm is, the real value comes with the content.

 

This Psalm glories in the permanent reality of the coming Messiah, Christ’s promise in the crucifixion and His resurrection still a millennia away for the Hebrews. This Psalm is a beautiful reminder to the Hebrew people of what God has done for them in the Exodus. It reminds us of how God provided, protected and showed mercy in the wilderness. And even more, what God will do for those who study His Word and follow Him as He sends them the Messiah. These verses remind us that “once-and-for-all” God’s purposes for each generation are clear markers of His love for us!  

 

Our response…Worship! Worship in fear of our “awesome” God (verses 9 & 10). In the 21st century, most often when we think fear, we think scary or harmful – something we need to get away from or overcome. In the Old Testament, our Hebrew brothers and sisters understood that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. So to fear the Lord is a good thing that nurtures us and calls us to maturity in the faith and in wisdom. The word “fear” in Hebrew is a synonym for love or something/one to cling to or to serve. It is about being in the presence of the Holy One! When we enter into a relationship with God, it is right to fear Him – to love Him and cling to Him.

 

So at Cason, when we talk about the pillar, Passionate Worship; what we are talking about is more than showing up to service or the amazing music or the amount placed in the offering or volunteering to usher.  Oh yes, these are all expressions of worship, but they do not define all that worship is! In the end, worship is about God. Worship is about where we place our attention and priority, not only on Sunday but each day. Worship takes our eyes off the busyness of life and fixes our eyes on Jesus. Indeed, the world can distract us and cause us to prioritize just about everything above our Worshiping God with Passion.  However if we would only listen to the Psalmist and heed the Word: The good life begins in the fear of God— Do that and you’ll know the blessing of God. His Hallelujah lasts forever; think of how our lives at Cason and each of our lives would change! My prayer is that we would worship God at Cason with such passion that we would in-SPIRE HOPE that begins with the good life of fear in the hearts of those who are seeking!

 

I just love being your pastor! Joy, joy – Pastor Alexis


One Response to “inSPIRE Worship”

  1. Linda Weiss says:

    Thanks Pastor Alexis for another reminder to focus on Jesus during these dark days of the pandemic living. You stated for us to worship daily for our family, the world; read our bible, praise God in all circumstances; cultivate a habit Daily to keep our focus on Jesus. This will give us peace and joy and God will give us wisdom. This will keep our focus, not on the problems of the world but rather on God. We are to praise God in song— this will quiet the the worldly chatter In our minds- this is passionate worship. Thanks so much for your words of wisdom! This has touched my heart !
    May God bless your ministry and you! And Cason UMC!
    To God be the Glory
    Linda

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