Hi! My name is John and this is my first of many blogs to come. I am excited to be a part of Grace Point Church Northwest and I am pumped to be given the opportunity to contribute to our blog. Now, I am not an expert at much of anything outside of food and awkward conversations, but I do love Jesus and His Church and my goal through these short blog entries is to encourage you, challenge you, and most importantly I hope to point you to Jesus.
I grew up in the church and have seen many expressions of a Sunday morning church gathering. Most of these experiences really confused me! What is worship? Is worship simply just an hour on Sunday? Is it worship if I don’t feel anything emotionally? This is a big one as I am a very emotional person. Is it worship if there are drums? Electric guitar? How am I as someone attending a gathering supposed to participate?
All of these questions caused frustration, anxiety, and worse….I began to be confused as to the importance of a Sunday morning Church gathering and as I look back I can see that what was lacking for me was a clear understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
So, over the next few months I will be answering these questions as I share with you some personal stories and experiences as well as walking through what it is we do and why we do what we do on a Sunday morning at Grace Point Church Northwest.
But first let’s take a look at a familiar scripture that really helped me to understand what a life of worship looks like.
Jesus says this in Matthew 11:28-30: Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (ESV)
Eugene Peterson paraphrases this beautifully in the Message Bible. He says it like this:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Tell me, are you tired? Exhausted? Burned out on religion? If so, you are in good company! I believe that the majority of Christians are. And this breaks my heart especially as Jesus has invited us to “take a real rest.”
As we begin this conversation about worship. The rest we are invited into first begins with accepting Jesus’ invitation to walk with Him, and to learn from Him, and to watch how He lives and loves. You see, walking with Jesus, working with Jesus, and watching Jesus. These are the rhythms of grace that propel us into a life of worship.
So as we begin this journey. Let’s start by leaving our preferences and history of what worship is at the door and let’s together look to the Bible. Let’s allow Scripture to define for us what is the context of our worship, who the object of our worship is, and who the audience of our worship is. If this last sentence is confusing, then you’re right. It is, but it gives you a reason to come back and read the next entry.