Daily Dose, March 13 — Worship Life

  Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:4-9) Complete this phrase: “Worship is….” If you’re at all like me, you find that it’s not an easy thing to do. I have a lot of potential answers come to my mind. Allow me to suggest to you a couple of ways to complete the phrase that you may not have thought of. “Worship is vertical. Worship is horizontal.” Worship is vertical. It flows north and south between me and God. It is a reminder and recognition that God is present in my personal, individual life. It’s also a wonderful reminder that the barrier of sin that stands between me and God has been removed by Christ. Because of this, we have a direct “vertical” line to God. We have relationship access. In worship, I come personally and individually before God and need to be honest and open. As God works in and through me, I find myself being personally transformed. There is certainly a part of worship in which the idea of “just me and God” is important. But that’s not all there is to it. Worship is horizontal. It extends from us to others around us. We gather together in communities of faith to worship together. As we do that, God not only changes individuals, but he also changes groups of people. He orients them together under a common faith. Together, we become the Body of Christ active in the world today. As we gather together, we express common faith, common beliefs, common joys, and common struggles. Philippians 4 encourages us to focus on things that are worthy of focus. Worship is vertical. Worship is horizontal. What do you get when you combine a vertical line and a horizontal line? A cross. That’s not a bad thing to focus on! -- Rev. Brad Greene