Silence of the Lambs: Worship - Purpose and Order
I sit down and spend time writing these so that people who attend our services know that their worship is lead with purpose and order and it's God's plan. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog post called "Is there a secret chord".... The last article we understood that "We" the church have a responsibility to be priest or to setup the tent of meeting. I first told us that we must come with thankfulness in our hearts and say it out loud each week. That's what Psalms says: Enter into my gates with praise and thanksgiving. (Paraphrased)
I've been shown in my life that we should start off with fast, medium, then slow songs to lead up to the preaching, but actually God's purpose was to "enter in" with praise. There are many songs to sing in this life time about Christianity but the First song from the start ought to praise God. God will not meet with us unless we are thankful and we come to Him in praise. Using songs like "Praise Him, Praise Him" or if it's "10,000 Reasons", the first song ought to talk about His strength, power, love or whatever the attribute. That's how we ought to start a service where the Word of God is preached later on.
The next song I choose to lead our group through is all about his sacrifice. (At Calvary, Nothing But the Blood, etc.) In the tabernacle, the very next object you came to was the altar of sacrifice. The key to this step is "SILENCE." Let's look at scripture: Ecclesiastes 5: 1 & 2
1. Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.
2. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.
Churches need not worry about silence. Silence is good because it allows the Holy Spirit to work. Do you remember the day you realized that Christ crucified and raised to life was for you and you repented and believed by faith and received Him? That day ought to be re-lived consistently in your life. He died for our eternal freedom. This shouldn't be that hard to understand. We have Memorial Day in America and we take time to honor and stand in silence to reflect on the veterans who gave us our freedom by laying down their lives. It's humbling when practiced consistently.
God wanted His priest to come to the temple with a sacrifice and they were to stand in line and listen to the bleating of a blood sacrifice because some animal had to die, why? Because of our sin. We loose sight of this constantly in our Christian walk. Crosses ought not to hang on a wall in church for decoration only, but they ought to stand for symbolic reasons as the author writes "The emblem of suffering and shame".
If you lead worship take time for silence. Focus energy to be quiet. I like to do it in prayer and in the middle of the prayer I go silent and stir my own heart for the cross either before the second song or right afterward. I reflect on the song in my prayer and allow people to take a moment to focus. If you worship in our church, I'm asking that you quiet your mind and heart and take this challenge and reflect on Christ. It is the bowing of one's neck, mind and heart that let's God work in our space. God is very familiar with this action when he called his own people "stiff-necked" generation. If you put your hand on the back of your head and push down and don't let you neck move then you truly get the experience.
Christianity always starts at the surrender of the cross. God can use a church that humbles themselves and I want to lead a group that is humble and at Sierra View we have a wonderful group. Join us on a Sunday!
Consider this song today: The altar they are talking about is not the steps in front of the pulpit but the altar of sacrifice in worship! Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe! Bring worth-ship to church this next Sunday!