Worship: It Is About Receiving God's Best, Not Giving Ours

         Continuing our line of thought from the last assimilation blog posting... more specifically this culture of receptivity will be seen in the atmosphere of corporate worship.  Instead of worship being a time where parishioners will actively give to God, worship then becomes a time where parishioners come to receive from God.  Take note of the following from Bethel Lutheran Church’s Worship Committee.

 “It has often been taught that we speak to God in worship; that we summon his presence and offer Him praise.  This view sees God as the audience of our worship.  However, this is a pagan concept of worship.  In pagan worship, the worshiper comes before his or her god to bring offerings and to present requests in order to please the particular god and get the god to respond to the worshiper in the way the worshiper desires (Lev. 10:1-3; Jer. 32:35; Ps. 78:56-59)

Christian worship is the exact opposite.  God is the speaker.  We are the audience.  He has called and invited us before Him; He has called and invited us before Him together so that He can talk with us.  In both the Old and New Testament worship God’s Word, that speaks to us, is central to the gathering.  (Ex. 29:42; Neh. 9:1-4; Acts 2:14-47)

God speaks and we listen and respond.  Through His Word, the Bible, God shows His character and His works.  He speaks to us about our sin and about the way of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.[1]

            Assimilation practically happens as parishioners gather together for worship in the spirit of receptivity, coming to receive from God in His Word and Sacraments. 

[1] Bethel Lutheran Church Word and Worship Committee, (Fergus Falls, MN, May 9 of 2006)