Category Archives: Worship

What is “The Overview Effect?”

sunrise-over-earthI came across this video and was struck by the startling struggle that those who do not have a faith orientation have in trying to describe realities of life that are sublime and spiritual. When faith is not the ground of those realities that are non-material and yet undeniable real our language betrays us. Take the time to watch this and listen to the wonder, awe, splendor and mystery those interviewed attempt to explain and quantify. Without a faith perspective we do not have the proper framework to express those yearnings and realizations that are not because of the object observed, but because of our awakened understanding of the larger story we are participating in. This was a remarkable video, both in its beauty, but also in its ignorance.

This is my take and I am sure that many of those in the video would disagree with my assessment. Let me know if and where I’m wrong. I look forward to your thoughts!

I would recommend watching it “full screen.”

The Incarnation of Jesus Leads to Worship

This past weekend I not only spent some time with great friends serving college students, but I was once again brought face to face with the greatest truth and mystery of the Christian faith. Over the course of three-and-a-half days I celebrated The Lord’s Supper five times. It would be easy to think that doing something this regularly would have a negative effect in appreciating it. In fact, the opposite effect is felt.

One of the most poignant verses of scripture related to Communion is found in 1 Corinthians 11:26. While the Apostle Paul is trying to correct some of the errors and abuses that were happening in the Corinthian church.

For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

This truly is a wonderful mystery. Every time we participate in communion and celebrate The Lord’s Supper we are able to witness how God can dissolve the concept of time into one moment. Just take the time to consider how Paul does this in this verse.

For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup (in the present),
you proclaim the Lord’s death (in the past)
until he comes (in the future).

During one of the moments of Communion was struck by the glorious truth of what we as Christian’s call the Incarnation. I do not believe it would be a stretch to say that the without the Incarnation there is no Christianity. This single teaching of the Christian church is so important that without it every hope is lost. The entire prospect of salvation hinges on whether or not God became like one of us. I have included my thoughts below. I offer it as a meditation on how the incarnation of Jesus leads to worship.

The glorious mystery of the incarnation reveals the utter majesty of our great God and King. He who is full of glory and with unquenchable power has entered into a broken world. He has come so that I, a wretched sinner might know the unhindered presence of grace. This is the offer of true grace. Nothing withheld. Nothing denied. Nothing lacking. Complete salvation. Once and for all delivered through the womb of a woman.

Oh mystery of mysteries. How could this be? How could God accomplish so much through what appears to be something so weak–a baby weeping? Only an all powerful God could use one of the weakest images of the human experience and accomplish the redemption of, not just one man or woman, but of all of them. Now and forever. God has come in the flesh.

What great love this is. What a demonstration of unbridled and wasteful grace. God has so much grace to give he gives and gives and is not bothered by the fact that it will not all be consumed.

How could I ever feel unsatisfied by the grace of God? Only if I have accepted a substitute. Only if I have allowed another Gospel, which is no gospel at all, to pollute my heart and mind with lies about Jesus.

The incarnation is a glorious mystery. I don’t understand it. But then again. I don’t really want to.

Sermon | “The One Worshiped Sets the Rules”

I preached this sermon on June 3, 2012 at the church where I serve. It was during the evening service with only about twenty or so of our congregation. They are such a wonderful group of people. I have shared the outline to this sermon already, but since I had the audio, I wanted to share that as well.

Sermon Sketch | “The One Worshiped Sets the Rules”

The One Worshiped Sets The Rules
Exodus 25:23-30

1. Why is so much space given to the building?

  • The amount of space given to describing the building is important.
  • God directs Moses to record a meticulous account of the construction.

2. Worship is… acknowledging the worth of something relative to our own worth.

  • We worship what we value.
  • We value what we desire.
  • We desire what will satisfy our souls.

3. Satisfaction of the soul… is an existential reality

We want for our life to have purpose and meaning.

  • Our Satisfaction comes form purpose
  • Our Purpose is determined by our design
  • Our Design come from God

4. Only God can decide what is appropriate worship.

  • God knows what will please him.
  • God knows what will displease him.
  • God is not required to explain himself to his creation.

5. What Does This Reveal?

  • We have grown to big for our britches.
    • We think that we know what pleases God.
  • The purpose of worship is God’s pleasure, not our own.