Worship & Sabbath

Christians want to serve God. We want to give something back, though our theology states that is impossible. Even our worship is focused on giving ourselves up to God. We sing and pray and hope it will be enough. It never will. We often feel frustrated as a result. Worship on Sunday becomes a self-trial to see how much we can give up, how much closer we can get to God. We wear ourselves out and still feel beaten.

Being a Christian is difficult business. Society is often anti-Christian and to avoid sin and uphold truth is hard work. At the end of a week we're tired, we need to be re-charged. But our attitude toward our role in worship makes us often dread the one place we can get the spiritual sustenance we need—church. By turning worship into one more act of service toward God, we rob it of its healing power. We're humans, we need rest. If we serve God all week and then again on Sunday morning, we get no rest and we get burned out. The purpose of church isn't for us to serve, but to be served. God serves us through our acts of worship and the sacraments, revitalizing us for the task of being His people.

The idea of God serving Christians isn't new, and having a hard time accepting it isn't a new problem. The apostles were appalled when Christ washed their feet. Every Lord's Day God invites us into His presence to be relieved of the world's pressure, to hear His comforting Word, to eat with Him at His holy table. These are not the acts of a tyrant demanding tribute, but of a gentle monarch caring for His children.

The Romans characterized the human race as homo sapiens, thinking man. The Church sees us differently: homo adorans, worshipping man. Man was made to worship. Christians await the climax of history when everything that has been created falls down before God in audible worship. For Rome, man was the end of creation, the sincerest object of worship. For the Church, Christ is the end of creation, the only object of worship. But our worship is not a work of righteousness that somehow brings us favor with God; we are able to worship Him, rather, because He has had favor on us and welcomes us every time we gather before His throne.

Worship is not only a mystical experience of no practical importance. Worship is utterly practical. The old Latin phrase, lex orandi, lex credendi, literally means "the law of prayer (or worship), the law of belief." How we worship affects how we think and act. If we embrace God's offer of rest in Lord's Day worship, our daily experience as Christians will be transformed and our service to God will continually grow stronger as we accept His service to us.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.

 

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41 Items found Print
Abide With Me
by John H. Parker, Paul Seawright
from New Leaf Press
for 7th-Adult
in History of Hymns (Location: J)
$16.50
Against Christianity
by Peter Leithart
from Canon Press
in Ecclesiology (Location: WH)
$10.50 $6.00 (1 in stock)
Book of Psalms for Singing
by Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America
from Crown and Covenant
for 7th grade-Adult
Call the Sabbath a Delight
by Walter J. Chantry
from Banner of Truth Trust
for 10th-Adult
$6.00
Celebrating the Sabbath
by Bruce Ray
from P&R Publishing
for 11th-Adult
$6.99
Covered or Uncovered
by Gary Sanseri
from Back Home Industries
for Adult
$29.95
Day of Delight
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: I-CHA)
$3.00 (2 in stock)
Desiring the Kingdom
Cultural Liturgies Volume 1
by James K.A. Smith
from Baker Academics
for 11th-Adult
in Art & Culture (Location: WH-CULTURE)
$17.50
Evangelical Feast Days - CD
Canon Press Audio Series
by Doug Wilson
from Canon Press
$40.00
Exhortations
by Doug Wilson
from Charles Nolan Publishers
for Adult
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Family Worship Book
by Terry L. Johnson
from Christian Focus Publications
for 11th-Adult
in Family Worship (Location: WH-5E)
$19.50 $12.00 (1 in stock)
Family Worship Hymnal - Standard Edition
by Edward Shewan & Michael McHugh
from Christian Liberty Press
for Adult
$12.00
Family-Integrated Church
by J. Mark Fox
from Xulon Press
for Adult
in Family Worship (Location: WH-5E)
$11.24
For the Life of the World
by Alexander Schmemann
from St. Vladimir's
for 11th-Adult
$16.50
From Silence to Song
by Peter Leithart
from Canon Press
$9.00
Golden Hours
by Elizabeth Prentiss
from Solid Ground Christian Books
for 11th-Adult
in Suffering & Hope (Location: WH)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Immanuel in Our Place
The Gospel According to the Old Testament
by Tremper Longman
from P&R Publishing
for Adult
$11.00
In the Splendor of Holiness
by Jon D. Payne
from Tolle Lege Press
for Adult
$9.50
Kingdom and the Power
by Peter Leithart
from P&R Publishing
$9.50
Life in the Father's House
by Wayne A. Mack, David Swavely
from P&R Publishing
for Adult
$3.00 (3 in stock)
Liturgical Bedlam - CD
1997 Christ Church Ministerial Conference
by Doug Wilson, Roy Atwood, Doug Jones, Chris Schlect
from Canon Press
$30.00
Liturgy Trap
by James Jordan
2nd edition from Biblical Horizons
$5.25
Liturgy Trap
by James Jordan
3rd edition from Athanasius Press
$6.71
Lord's Service
by Jeffrey Meyers
from Canon Press
for 11th-Adult
$18.75
Music & Ministry
by Calvin Johannson
2nd edition from Hendrickson Publishers
for Adult
$9.50 $5.00 (1 in stock)
Poetic Ministry - CD
1999 Christ Church Ministerial Conference
by Doug Wilson, Doug Jones, Peter Leithart & Roy Atwood
from Canon Press
for Adult
$24.00
Primer on Worship and Reformation
from Canon Press
$10.00
Sing Unto the Lord
from A Beka Books
for Ages 5-12
$5.63 (1 in stock)
Singing and Making Music
by Paul S. Jones
from P&R Publishing
for Adult
$5.00 (2 in stock)
Stop Dating the Church
by Joshua Harris
from Multnomah Books
for 11th-Adult
$9.09 $4.00 (2 in stock)
Taste of Sabbath
by Stuart Bryan
from Canon Press
$9.00
Then Sings My Soul Book 2
by Robert J. Morgan
1st edition from Thomas Nelson Publishers
for Adult
in History of Hymns (Location: J)
$14.99
Then Sings My Soul Book 3
by Robert J. Morgan
1st edition from Thomas Nelson Publishers
for Adult
in History of Hymns (Location: J)
$14.99
Trinity Psalter
by Presbyterian Church in America
for Adult
$3.75 (5 in stock)
Unceasing Worship
by Harold M. Best
from InterVarsity Press
for 10th-Adult
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Why Johnny Can't Sing Hymns
by T. David Gordon
from P&R Publishing
for Adult
$8.50 $4.00 (1 in stock)
With One Voice
by Reggie M. Kidd
from Baker Books
for Adult
$4.00 (1 in stock)
With Reverence and Awe
by D.G. Hart, John R. Muether
from P&R Publishing
for Adult
$10.00
Worship in Harmony - CD
from Canon Press
for Adult
$20.00
Worship Matters
by Bob Kauflin
from Crossway Books
for Adult
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Worship of the Saints - CD
Canon Press Audio Series
by Doug Wilson
from Canon Press
for 11th-Adult
$9.50