Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Lord's Day, Worship & Communion

Someone once asked me what the significance of Sunday worship is. And this is my short answer!

Before we can properly prepare our hearts for public worship, we must first and foremost understand what worship is. Sadly, present-day churches are rampant with confusion regarding worship, and this has led to much discord and division among congregations, families and friends. Worship should unite Christians, not divide them. True biblical worship pleases God. And there are some things that constitute true biblical worship; and they go hand in hand, the singing of songs, preaching, corporate prayer, the Lords supper,[or communion]. In some reformed circles communion is the center piece or “highlight” of the service. Needless to say it is indeed a significant part of the service and is also the best reason for corporate worship to be on Sunday, the Lord's day. It is after all, in remembrance of Him that we partake in the Lord’s Supper, on the 1st day of the week that He arose, signifying a new beginning, a new covenant. [More on that later].

But what is worship? All true worship comes from the heart, in a heart felt love for God. And even then true worship must come from a pure heart. All true worship honors God. Worship is simply praising God. And it can take a lot of different forms. Any way that you praise God is worship.

Speaking of God’s character honors Him. Simply reciting scriptures that say “God is great” and “holy” and “righteous” and “God is a pure God” and “God is almighty God”. Any time you recite the character of God, that praises God and this is worship.

Then there is singing. Singing that speaks of God’s character, His Holiness, His righteousness, His might, His sovereignty, in reverence is worship. That’s why I believe the old hymns and psalms are the most appropriate.

Another aspect of worship is not just singing about and reciting scriptures but meditating on the grandeur of God. People are starving for the grandeur of God and if we don’t meditate on the grandeur of God we won’t reflect that grandeur. And meditating on the grandeur of God can and should be done while singing, reciting scripture or the hearing of preaching. And all these things should be done in corporate worship.

Corporate worship also includes communion because the Communion table exalts the work of God in Christ on the cross. It exalts not only His work on the cross, but doesn’t Communion remind us of His love and His forgiveness and His mercy? Communion in and of itself is an act of worship. Worship is the attitude of your heart praising God for who He is, for what He has done.

The reason we worship on Sunday is simply because Sunday was the day that the Lord Jesus rose from the dead. The first day of the week is the beginning of the New Covenant. (The day that Jesus rose from the grave). And we have much reverence for that!

In the Old Testament they worshiped the Lord on the last day of the week, the Sabbath day as a day of rest. But when Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the first day of the week, they began to celebrate the resurrection. The church was born out of the resurrection, (the day of Pentecost) the beginning of a New Covenant and the ending of an Old Covenant. And the very next time we see the disciples meeting together; it is on the first day of the week. And then again on the first day of the week. That became the pattern.

All the way through the book of Acts you begin to see them meeting on the first day of the week. And this was to commemorate the resurrection, “As often as we come together”. The Sabbath law of the Old Testament was set aside for Israel for their rest. It is interesting that even though the Sabbath is in the Ten Commandments, the only one of the Ten Commandments that’s never repeated in the New Testament is the commandment to keep the Sabbath day. Much more than a day of rest, the Christian’s Sunday is a day of remembrance, of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. And there is plenty of evidence in the New Testament that the early church met for worship, corporate worship, on the first day of the week.

But we must remember that is simply the traditional day for our corporate worship. Our worship of God should occur all day long every day, seven days a week. And it really doesn’t matter, what day of the week it is, you’re as much involved in worshiping the Lord today and every day as you would be on Sunday morning. There’s nothing sacred particularly about the day. It’s simply a day that was established because of the remembrance of His resurrection, the beginning of a New Covenant. How appropriate that as often as we do this, we do it on the same day he rose from the dead.

Monday, November 23, 2009

After the wedding

Well, it's been a little over 2 weeks since the big event. All the wedding supples are put away.
Everything is back to normal. That is, as normal as it's going to be with Elise having left the nest.
We miss her.

I thought the wedding went very well. It was simple and beautiful. Elise was beautiful. Gabriel looked very handsome in his tuxedo. The bridesmaids and groomsmen, as well, looked great. The church was beautiful. Their new fellowship hall was a great place for the reception.
We have never gotten to meet most of Gabriel's family. So, the wedding served that occasion.

We had a lot of food left over from the reception. Some of the people that were suppose to attend were unable to make it after all. It seems like several families had to leave after the ceremony and were unable to attend the reception. I gave quite a bit away to the friends that helped clean up. But I still had a lot left. Leftovers are good.

I'm so thankful for the friends that helped us on the rehearsal night and at the reception. They were a great blessing and they did a teriffic job. In all honesty, we would not have been able to do it without them. They worked very hard.

When it was time for the bride and groom to leave, there were hugs and tears to go around. They walked between lines of guests blowing bubbles to get to Gabriel's truck and went to my son's house to change their wedding garments and head off for their honeymoon.

But, we weren't home from church long the following day, when Elise called and said they were headed back to our house, because Gabriel's truck was acting up. So they come back to our house and they and Tim took the truck to Dickson where we take our vehicles for repairs. They left it there and then borrowed our car to drive out to Virginia Beach.
Someone asked us which of one of us sabotoged Gabriel's truck so that they would have to come back here.
Well, of course, no one sabotoged the truck, but we were happy to have them come back by before they left for Texas.

They got back the following Sunday. We had TJ and his family over for supper while they were here. We had the whole family together one last time before Elise moved to Texas.
This time seemed a little harder to say goodbye.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Friday the Stokes invited us over along with several other families. They had a bon fire and hayride. 
It was a lot of fun and a little cold.
Here, several of the men are talking and eating. 
Some people ate outside. 
Mr. Castille and Rachel trying to get warm.

They had the girls go on the hayride first, then the boys went. This is after the girls went and we were all really cold. Sorry I didn't get pictures of the hayride.

While the boys were on the ride some of the girls sang. Brittany and Johanna the pianists. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

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