Oh come, let us sing to the LORD!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our Salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
~ Psalm 95: 1-2
This is where we left off last time I posted. While my plans were to post the last of the three thoughts in this series right after #2, life got in the way. First it was a crazy travel schedule, during which time my laptop crashed, leaving me without a laptop until today. (confession...I had access to a family computer, but the writer in me was blocked every time I sat down to that foreign keyboard...ya, a little quirky I suppose!) So here we go...picking up where we left off. We started looking at the definition of worship and then explored the call to worship and the warning to worship, where I left us with a promise to explore the concept of community in worship.
Community [noun] - a unified body of individuals.
As followers of Christ, we are, by definition, a community. We are a body of individuals unified by a common love for Christ. And the Psalm we have been studying speaks of community in the call to action by saying "let us". The psalmist could easily have left out the collective call to action and just made it a series of strong statements to sing, shout, come and shout. The fact that "let us" is there tells us it is an important part of the call to worship.
And so we do worship as a 'unified body of individuals' each time we come together to bow down and praise God. This is a strong word to us when we are inclined to discount going to church. In fact, it is a very bold statement of personal pride to say "I don't need to go to church to worship God". I'm reminded of another favorite verse that also directs us to come together as a unified body to worship ...
Hebrews 10:24-25 ~ “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing,
but let us encourage one another…”
Now, as I mentioned in the previous 2 posts on this topic, I am sharing with you my perspective of a message presented by out associate pastor...Ben. I enjoyed how Ben pointed out the salad bowl concept presented in this verse (let us...lettuce...get it? heehee...I thought it was funny). But I was even more excited by another concept he explored with us. The idea of how the Trinity represents the ultimate goal for real community.
Christ submitted (bowed the knee) to God by coming to earth as a sacrifice for our sins.
The Holy Spirit submitted (bowed the knee) to Christ by coming to be our counselor here on earth.
This is the ultimate picture of a worshipping community. Each part of the Trinity doing the job it was called to do. Each God, but none striving to be most important. Imagine...Jesus bowed the knee in submission to the plan of God so that we could come join in the community of worship with Him. If Jesus did it, how much more should we!
I couldn't help but think of the conversations I have had with fellow believers about how hard it is to submit sometimes. I am deeply humbled by that thought as I think about how hard it would have been for Christ. I am reminded of the verse in scripture where Pilate tells Jesus "Don't you know I have the power to free / save you..." (John 19:10). There Christ stood, submitted in heart to the will of God. I am afraid my flesh would have struggled to keep from standing up and saying something like " are you kidding me?! I have come to save you!!! Don't you see what I am doing here for you!!" But Christ submitted to God's will, let Pilate know that he would have no authority if it had not been given to him by God and then walked the path laid out for Him.
What if we all were to follow the example set by the Trinity, to submit to the will of God without concern of our own personal will. I am reminded of how I used to encourage my children when they were younger to look after one another. When they were inclined to be mostly concerned about 'what was in it for them' I'd remind them that God calls us to look out for others above ourselves and would share an example of simple math. If your only concern is for yourself, then you have one person looking after your personal well being. If you focus on your brothers and sister, mom and dad, and each does the same in return, we each have 5 people looking after our personal well being.
What a great encouragement I received from Ben's example of community as shown by the Trinity. It overwhelms me to think of the difference the community of believers could make if we all were to follow this ultimate example of bowing our knee in submission to the authority of God, lifting up the well being of others above ourselves.
What do you think?