Since coming back from my sabbatical (or medical leave of absence), the past few Monday's I have been writing a blog as a follow up to the sermon. It has been rather cathartic for me offering a space to collect my thoughts about all I am learning and what I feel God is doing in our midst.
This past Sunday I tried to hammer home the why of worship. Like in general, why do we worship? The goal of worship is to see Christ manifest (make apparent) His kingdom (His will, presence and power) on earth as it is in heaven. Sometimes that hope and belief is not enough to rule the day of our hearts. We need a why.
In Revelation 4-5, we get part of John's kaleidoscope vision of heaven that pulls in many the most apocalyptic books of the Old Testament (Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel). And it is in these chapters we get our why.
1. God is Holy (Revelation 4:1-8). We often think of holy as being morally pure - which it means. But it also carries a sense of otherness. God is utterly transcendent, utterly unique. For some additional help on holiness, check out this video from the Bible Project:
2. God is Creator (Revelation 4:9-11). He created everything! He made you, me, atoms, subatomic particles, black holes, lions and food. We see these four living creatures (representing created, earthly creatures), naturally respond to their creator with praise and worship.
3. God is Redeemer (Revelation 5). In Revelation 5 we have this dramatic picture of someone in heaven kinda upset at what I think is the state of affairs on earth. No one is found who is worthy to open this scroll (which represents the fulfillment of God's purposes). John hears that it is going to be the Lion of the tribe of Judah and he sees a slain lamb. Picture a white lamb walking up with its neck cut and bleeding. It is Jesus! The hero all of creation is groaning to see!
So there is your why. So why am I writing this? I see praise and worship, what we do on Sunday's, being a huge part of how God wants to work in and through our church. These three profound truths can become an anchor for our Sundays as we expectantly look for God to manifest His domain, His freedom in our midst.