What Do We Do When We Gather? (Colossians 3:15-17)

October 31, 2021 | Brandon Cooper


The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.

The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord our rights giving joy to the heart and commands the Lord are radiant giving light to the eyes, the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous, and more precious than gold and much pure gold. They’re sweeter than honey and honey from the honeycomb. Go ahead, grab your Bibles open up the Colossians chapter three. As I try and take you through what Lindsey was kind enough to take the kids through a moment of go being clashes three verses 15 to 17. Now, imagine a group of people coming together, getting ready to plant a church, and talking through what exactly the service should look like. Now, I mentioned a church plant, because that’s probably a better situation. The more likely situation, of course, is just a group of congregants who are getting together to talk about all the things the church isn’t doing well. But we’ll assume that’s not happening here. So again, we’re planting, it’s a positive look. So the first person speaks up and says what the church service needs to be more than anything else is intimate. This needs to be a place for a passionate, authentic communion with God. And the person next to her said, Nan, oh, come on, that’s too personal, emotional. The church service needs to have some oomph to it. It needs to be historic and doctrinally sound by its use of the ancient creeds and the ancient hymns. we instruct people in the truth of the faith in somebody else’s Sugar, sugar, I like that doesn’t. I’m not saying no, both those are good, in fact, but what what we need is a liturgical church service, because let’s not forget that people are formed by their practices, by their habits, let’s make sure the habits we have are the habits that will form people in the last person throws up their arms and frustration and says you’re all missing the point here. The most important thing is that we reach people. And so we got to talk about what our service needs to look like so that the neighbors think it’s cool kind of thing. You’re starting to see the problem, aren’t you? Or at least why we’re asking this question this morning? What should we do when we gather? Your first Sunday here, by the way, we’re in a series called gathering that is all about the church. So we’ve looked at what exactly is the church? And why do we need to go to church that was last week. And now this week? What do we do when we get here? We’re going to talk about some real elements. All right, we’re talking about things like should we do responsive readings? Do we recite the Creed together? Is there a Passing of the Peace, all those kinds of things, we’re addressing the issue of liturgy? Now liturgy is just a Greek word for public service for the common good, which is why we call our worship serve as a worship service. That’s the idea there, it has to do with our, our worship, when we gather, maybe it’s an order of service. I’ve got problems with each of those words, not that they’re wrong, but they just can confuse people you’ll notice at the top of our bullets, and we don’t even call it anything. We just say what we’re going to do today and why? Because I don’t know what to call it. And if you’ve got a better idea, you let me know. So maybe here we’re talking about almost a rhythm of worship or a pattern of worship. Why does it matter? Here’s Brian chapel explaining it exactly. He says this, our worship patterns always communicate something.
Even if one simply goes along with what is either historically accepted or culturally preferred, an understanding of the gospel inevitably unfolds. If a leader sets aside time for confession of sin, then something about the gospel is communicated. If there’s no confession in the course of the service, then something else is communicated, even though the message conveyed may not have been intended. So we got to examine what we do here. And why exactly we do it. And let me just be frank upfront. We’re going to talk about some things here that we don’t do well at Cityview. I think this is an area where we are weak, like confession, for example, we rarely have times of confession in the service something about the gospel is communicated that and so this is in some ways, a marker for us. This is an aspiration sort of sermon, we’re going to say here’s where we are aiming. The main idea is that what we do shapes what we will be. So what we do here, when we gather as the church shapes what we will be, as the church will affect the kinds of Christians we become. And so if we want to be a gospel-shaped people, which I certainly hope we do, then we need to practice gospel-shaped worship. Ship, what is the gospel, the gospel tells us about who God is and who we are, what God has done for us in Christ and what we do in response. So that’s the gospel, that’s the diamond, right? The pattern of worship rhythm, of course, we have there, like the prongs on a diamond ring that hold the diamond in place, no one looks at the prongs. But they do allow us to see the diamond more clearly, that’s what we’re talking about here. And this we’re gonna look at as we look at question 315 to 17, I gotta confess something else. As we start here, too, there is no passage of scripture that really walks us through what a church service should be, can’t turn to Second Thessalonians and find, when you gather, first do this, then you do this, then somebody’s gonna get up and say this, and then you do that. Frankly, if there were something like that, our services would look the same, wouldn’t say, but we don’t have that. And that’s why we got all the variety that we have among Christians. So what that means is that in looking at Colossians, 3:15 to 17, we are looking at these three marks of a worship service, three marks of of a gospel rhythm here, but it’s not going to be totally orderly, it’s a little bit like looking at the finished painting. And, you know, I’m going to be drawing your attention to the use of blue and the use of green and the use of Brown, you know, and it’s in the sky, but it’s also in the lake, and it’s in the grass, but it’s also in the tree, and it’s in the fence, and it’s in the little cottage and so it’s not all right there at the same time. So that’s what we’re going to do as we dive in this morning. But these three marks or three movements of a worship, service, gravity, grace and gratitude. Let’s start with gravity. speaking here of our adoration and confession certainly read the passage though, as we dive in Colossians 315 to 17. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. since as members of one body, we’re called to peace and be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly, as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs and spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
So gravity, adoration and confession. What I mean by gravity is a sense of the bigness of this moment. We’re not here for entertainment, not here for comfort. We’re here to exalt the living God. Listen to the way the writer to Hebrews says in Hebrews 1228 29 says, let us worship God acceptably. That’s an interesting word right there too, because it means there is an unacceptable way of worshipping God. So we should think pretty carefully about what we do and how we do it. Let us worship God acceptably with reverence and all. There’s the gravity right. Why? Because of who God is, for our God is a consuming fire. When we stand before the Lord, the worship service, we tremble before the might the his splendor, we experienced the true fear of the Lord that is incoming into the worship service. It’s a little bit like reaching the summit of a cliff and looking over at the view and there’s that sharp intake of breath. Because it’s so glorious, and at the same time, it’s a little bit terrifying, especially if you’re afraid of heights like I am. That shortness of it, I gasp Is what I’m talking about here. That gravity and this leads to adoration. Of course, we glorify and worship God, we delight in his awesomeness together. We do that, especially through singing. there in verse 16, right, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. It’s one of the ways we declare His glory. It’s who you are we saying even this morning, and we sing to him with hymns, Psalms, songs, the Spirit, the Word of him, by the way, just means song of praise. Of course, we’re talking about adoration here we declare God’s goodness and power, His holiness and love. And Paul goes even further. In fact, he says that we’re supposed to do everything we do in the name of the Lord Jesus, and doing everything in the name of the Lord Jesus that’s synonymous with doing it all for the glory of God, which Paul tells us explicitly in First Corinthians 10. How is it the same thing? Why because if everything we do, we do in the name of Jesus, that means that his reputation is at stake, and how we live our lives, we bear a name, we are unworthy in ourselves to bear. We feel the gravity of that truth. And that leads to a shaken sort of worship. Scripture often speaks to the Lord shaking the heavens and the earth. What’s happening there ever done a glitter project in elementary school? These are band by the way at church and in my home. We don’t do gooder projects, because that’s just awful. In fact, every time we have a wedding here we discover our pews have been bedazzled with glitter and it annoys me greatly so but what happens in a glitter project you know, you put some glue down and whatever pattern you shake the glitter like a pound and a half of glitter all over it, and then you
so that only what is meant to remain remains. That’s what the Lord is going to do to shake the heavens and the earth and only what is eternal is going to remain. But we see this shaking we even heard it Lindsey read it for us. But in Isaiah, chapter six, we’re going to kind of be in Colossians three and Isaiah six just simultaneously, just so you know. But what happens I saw the Lord high and exalted, seated on a throne and a train of his robe filled the temple, the angels are singing Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty, the whole earth is full of his glory, at the sound of their voices and the doorposts and thresholds shook. The temple was filled with smoke. There’s the shaking though right, that happens, what happened we come in, in adoration, we see the Lord exalted we sing his holiness, we tremble the for him in the fear of the Lord. And of course, then all of this leads to confession did for Isaiah tonight, right after the angels sing, and everything’s shaking, what did you say? Well, to me, I cried, I’m ruined. For I’m a man of unclean lips. When we rightly apprehend who God is, we immediately recognize that we are not what we should be. It is the brilliance of this God who is light shines in our hearts, and exposes the muck and filth and sin within us. Now, Paul doesn’t mention the confession specifically in these verses before us, verses 15 to 17, but it certainly is implied. We read in verse 16, for example, that were to teach and admonish one another. And to admonishes to rebuke it’s to say, you’re falling short here. And, of course, the whole context of the passage as well, if you looked up at verse 13, which was a bear with each other and forgive one another, why we keep sinning against each other grow up even earlier, you get things like verse five, for example, put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature, the things that if shaken would not remain, so we are sinners, we are sinners, who sin more often than we’d care to admit. So having seen the holy perfection of God, then we are struck by our own unworthiness. To stand in His presence. We say hello to me. I’m ruined. Or like the tax collector, we beat her breasts and say, Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner, we feel the gravity, the weight of our sin. And you see the gospel shaped to our worship, and this is who God is. And I am not who I should be in light of who he is. And so we confess our sins to one another, talked a lot about this last week, the need for community right so that we can do that sort of confession that we may be healed, James tells us we’ll look at the healing in the next section. What does that look like in a service, this might just be a time of silent reflection. This might be a corporate prayer that’s offered, it might be a song of confession. Some give us clean hands before if you’ve been on our prayer calls a few times back in the days when I would lead worship. For those prayer calls, we would sing a very simple song called created me was meant to be this time of confession, as well.
There’s that time of confession that one more point than before we turn to this next mark this next movement in the worship service, one that we see quite clearly in Isaiah, by the way, and quite clearly in the Gospel. And that’s that God is the one who initiates this whole worship service. The Gospel, of course, does not begin with our effort. But with God’s work, he moves first. In the same way our gathering does not depend on our activity, or our creativity. Because that would carry with it the danger of a human centered worship as though we’re here because of what we’re doing and who we are and not instead of who he is. We gather to be blessed. Or there’s there’s a certain element of passivity in what we do here. And so the worship service begins with a hearing and receiving and only then responding we do not do this well here that we have failed you in this regard here right because we often begins with words of welcome only invite you to join us in our speaking to God usually through song. I can’t promise will be perfect, but we’re going to move in this direction. Very certainly. And you heard it this morning. Of course we’re Kyle opened us with a call to worship deeply biblical, he wasn’t clear quoting a passage of scripture explicitly, but just scripture saturated God speaks, we respond. Worship begins with God because the Gospel begins with God he moves first. Gravity that then takes us to grace of course, because God moving to us is itself an act of grace proclamation and petition, this second mark of a worship service. Paul says this one, very clear you let the message of Christ dwell among you richly. Oh, would that that phrase were stamped on our congregation, amen. That people would go I don’t know about Cityview I know this, the message of Christ dwells among them richly. At least that’s who we aim to be. Here’s the thing. The message of Christ is unquestionably a message of grace. The second mark, it’s a message of grace what God has done for sinners. Again, we saw that in Isaiah, Woe to me, I’m ruined. What happens next, Isaiah six, six and seven. And one of the seraphim flew to me with a lie of colon his hand which he had taken with tongs on the altar. With it, he touched my mouth and said, See, this is touched your lips, your guilt is taken away, and your sin atone for that 700 years before Christ, we lived 2000 years after Christ, we know the rest of the story. We know the exact process. You do not need to have your lips burned with coals, what you need is Jesus, because all of our sin was placed on him. He was our scapegoat. He was our sacrificial lamb when he died on the cross the board away from us and we received His perfection in its place. Paul says in Second Corinthians 521, He made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us so that in him, we might become the righteousness of God. That’s the message with which we teach and admonish one another with all wisdom. This, by the way, is why one of our core values here at the church is gospel centered everything. Because this is the message it’s got to be right at the heart of who we are. Now we proclaim this message when we gather, the proclamation piece we proclaim, we proclaim it in song, we proclaim it in readings, we proclaim it in words of assurance. Just another one we don’t do as often as we should, in part because we don’t have a lot of times where we do confession in the service means we don’t follow that up with times of words of assurance as much either but Julie did do this for us last week. I hope you all caught that we sang take my life, and let it be consecrated Lord to thee. And after we sang that, Julie said, we don’t do this. Do we? Like is your life really consecrated to Jesus? Some of the time sure, all the time? No, we fall short. And then she gave us the words of assurance. She gave us a moment to think about that. And she gave us the words of assurance. We fall short, Jesus did not Jesus measured up in our place, the only possible response to that is to sing hallelujah, what a Savior. And that’s what we saying next. If you are in Christ, you belong to Him by grace through faith,
your sin is forgiven. By sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought my sin, not in part, but in whole is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Oh, my soul. We proclaim this message of grace, of course, in the sermon as well. By the way, Lindsay, next week’s sermon is called, Why is the sermon so long? But we have this time of instruction, right, not just proclamation but instruction where we teach the whole counsel of God Of course, the whole counsel of God, is the message of Christ that dwells among us richly, here’s Jesus Himself, Luke 2427, beginning with Moses and all the prophets. He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. So no matter what passage we’re in, it is the message of Christ that we proclaim, and they have dwelt among us richly. This thing is what allows us to let Christ’s peace rule in us because without Christ, there can be no peace, no vertical peace, but honestly no horizontal peace either. It’s interesting you look at the contrast between what Jeremiah says, and then what Paul says, Jeremiah eight verses 11. This is as God is punishing his people for their continued rebellion. Jeremiah says, They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious peace, peace, they say when there is no peace. There’s the gravity by the way of our confession, our need to confess but all that changes in Christ no peace. Therefore, since we have been shown justified through faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. Romans five, one and two. And that vertical peace produces horizontal peace so that we bear with one another, forgive one another, as Paul says, just above, when it says, Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, by the way, a word for rule, it’s a referee. That’s what we’re talking about here. It means what happens when your flesh gets offended by something somebody says, and you’re like, I’m about to do this and the referee shows up and gives you the yellow card. Or if you watch that corrupted Americanized version of it, they throw the penalty flag that’s what happens in our hearts. So that’s the check piece of pressure. No, I can’t I can’t do that can respond this way. Are you kidding me? You know what Jesus has done for me, I’m gonna forgive in love the peace of Christ rules in our hearts. And this is of course, the idea of passing the peace. If you grew up in certain traditions, you would know something about we are meant to greet one another warmly. My daughter and I are in first Peter right now. And one of the last things Peter says greet one another with the kiss of love. Some traditions make this a formal part of the service. As you get up in the middle of it. Y’all shake hands, and things like that. We don’t do that here. But the greeting Pete like that’s a command of God. You greet one another warmly, because we’re called to do it. By the way, what happens if you show up for the service five minutes late?
You’re in disobedience? Because you miss that part. And that part matters. We’ll come back to that in a moment here. But did you notice and it’s there in Romans five, of course, we’ve gained access by faith, gave access to what to the throne of God. So the whole services, of course, bathe in prayer, right, we got proclamation and petition, think of how many times we address God just in these verses 15 to 17. We’re thankful we’re singing to him. We’re doing it all in the name of giving thanks to him. It’s just over and over and over again, we are speaking to God and adoration, in confession in thanksgiving. But in petition as well, we bring our petitions to God. And it is the grace of God that we’re not only allowed to bring our petitions, but positively commanded to do it to cast our anxiety on him because he cares for us. Whereas we sang that quote from Hebrews to boldly approach the throne of grace, to receive mercy in our time of needs, such grace, such grace. And all of that produces, of course, a response in us, which is that third mark or movement in a gospel rhythm, which is gratitude, gravity, grace and gratitude, dedication and commission. There’s this golden thread running throughout the passage, each verse concludes with it. I don’t know if you notice that be thankful. sing to God with gratitude in your hearts, give thanks to God the Father through Jesus. What is this? This is our response to what God has done for us. After all, the message of Christ is not I obey, therefore, I’m accepted. I gotta get my life in order in order to show up and worship God. It’s exactly the opposite, right? I’m accepted by Grace despite my sin. I’m accepted. Therefore I obey so that our obedience is a response to the grace of God and not an attempt to earn God’s favor which we could not do. So that now whatever we do, we do in Christ’s name, and for God’s glory. And so we dedicate ourselves to obedience. After the proclamation of the gospel, after instruction in the Word, we hear the whole counsel of God including what God asks of us, we walk out of here going, what is God calling me to do? This is why our community groups are so important, by the way, because this is what we do in community groups. We review a little bit just what we learned together we read the passage of course we were devoted to God’s word and then we say alright, what we heard on Sunday what is God asking me personally to do specifically this week? To put this into practice? We often do this in the service as well in fact we we talk about our song after the sermon has been the song of response as we as we plan the service each week, our worship leaders will sometimes transition it sometimes it’s just as simple as let’s respond together. And that’s okay. But sometimes our worship leader will get up and say, Did you hear it? Well, God just had for us and here’s we got we did sell this last week even right, because last week we had what was the aim of our community
is always concerned me. Oh, man, I’m pastors appreciation Sunday. feel old Charlie Brown on your right now change. Thank you lots of you said it. You just didn’t know if you’re supposed to respond. You can always respond out loud, that’s fine, change, right, be transformed. That’s what we’re here to do to be transformed. We got up and saying more like Jesus, I just want to be more like Jesus. Exactly. That’s the song of response coming out of that. Of course, we respond in gratitude, when we bring our gifts as well. We don’t just give to keep the lights on that’s there. That’s necessary. Sure. But there’s more to it than that. There’s this sense of where your treasure is there your heart will be also. And so it’s an act of worship, to bring our tithes and offerings. It’s what the writer to Hebrew says, chapter 13, verses 15 and 16. Through Jesus, therefore, it is continually offered a God a sacrifice of praise, right to worship, the fruit of lips that openly profess his name, and do not forget to do good, and to share with others. There’s the giving right? for with such sacrifices, God is pleased. And then we’re sent out with a blessing. Do you notice then that means that the service both begins and ends with God’s blessing over us, but it ends with the benediction and commission? We see this in Isaiah as well. What happens after his lips are burned? God says, Whom shall I send? Who will go? And Isaiah says, Here am I, Here am I send me so we walk out of here going here? Am I, Here am I send me Lord, we gather to build each other up in love. That was last week, and then we scatter, to reach and serve the world. Again, in our Cityview tagline here, we’re made to magnify and then we’re sent to serve. Alright, so we’ve looked in very broad strokes at the elements of the worship, gathering what Scripture calls us to do, explicitly. Taking our cue from verse 16. And it being reformation Sunday, happy reformation Sunday. By the way, we’ll take our cue from reformation here as well. What do we do when we gather together we read the word pray the Word, preach the Word, sing the word and see the word in the sacraments of the Lord’s Supper and baptism, which we’ll get to later in this series. As that message of Christ dwells among us richly, we move from gravity, to grace, to gratitude, not neatly as like one time through but just constantly cycling through this in our worship gatherings. Now, these elements, some of the big headings that I’ve had for us like adoration and confession, proclamation, petition, dedication, and commission, these are non negotiables, of what we do when we gather those the elements, right, but within these elements, there is some flexibility on form. When we sing adoration to God, do we do it with an organ or with an electric drum kit? I got news for you Scripture doesn’t care. Now, it may care. There are some who would say no, we’re not supposed to do it with instruments, we should only sing the Psalms to one another, because that’s what Scripture says. So there’s some debate about what’s an element and what’s a form, but you get the basic idea, at least, when we study the Word together, should we just we’re just going through Philippians chapter one verse one until the end? Or could we do a topical series on say, the church gathering, as your hope so
right? And this is not just a matter of taste, wisdom may dictate some answers to some of these questions, like there’s a reason why we primarily if you were to look at the number of weeks we spend on each, why we primarily start in chapter one, verse one, and go to the end of a book, like Mark or Genesis, or x or Ephesians, and things like that. But we also do some topical stuff, because there might be some wisdom there as well. Context will also help us out what time should you gather for worship? That’s just cultural, right? And so we got to think what color should your pews right? We’re even down even farther than that. But you get you get the idea, right? There’s this tension between elements and form. You look at the baseball rulebook or something like that, you know, the pitchers got to stand a certain distance from home plate, the mountains, a certain height, they got to keep their feet in a certain place. And there’s a certain motion that they have to go through, those are all elements of the pitch. But within that, there’s all sorts of room for flexibility. That would be the form, what’s your arm angle? Where are your fingers? And what kind of pitch Are you throwing? Right? So that’s what we’re looking at this difference between elements and form. And we’ve come to some answers here. And maybe we’ll continue to evaluate them. But the key point is still what we do shapes what we will be, we want to be gospel shaped people. We need to practice gospel shaped worship. And so I’ve been trying to help us think through these elements, especially more so than the forms Because the reality is that every church has a liturgy, it’s much like theology. There’s no such thing as not having theology. If you don’t have a theology, that just means you have a bad theology, because you haven’t actually thought through your theology. It’s the same thing with liturgy. Right? So do we have a biblical, intentional liturgy? Or do we just kind of show up and do what we always do? One of our elders said this early on in this discussion was like, we do have a liturgy, we just need to acknowledge it. We sing three songs, then we do announcements, and prayer and take the offer. And then there’s the sermon, then we sing two more songs, and we do a benediction. And that’s our liturgy. And the problem, of course, is that that was not an intentional liturgy. We’re just kind of fallen into it over time. And so we want to make sure that we have a good liturgy a good gospel rhythm. I want to help you understand what we do and why and in parts that you can hold us accountable to do it well. And I want to help those who plan to do so carefully. Because we don’t want to communicate something unintentionally, there’s no confession, well, that maybe means we’re not sinful. Well, there’s no call to worship, does that mean that we initiate this whole thing. And so I invite you, honestly, to pray for us because there’s work to be done quite a bit of work to be done here. But there’s work to be done on your end, too, which is good, of course, because I know that you want to dedicate yourselves in gratitude for what God has done for you. And so here’s the dedication. The worship gathering, of course, is not a spectator sport. As we’ve seen, there is an earth and to hell shaking gravity to what we do when we gather. It’s also really hard, like Sunday mornings are hard, right? So you got kids, you got six kids, and your husband’s the pastor. And you teach the nine o’clock hour, by the way they were like, so we get it like it can be hard to get here on time and in the right frame of mind and all that. So what can we do to enter fully into a gospel shaped worship rhythm? before, during and after the service and Joe Thorne is going to help us out with this. He’s got these categories of rephrase them a little bit. But first, he says, prepare, you need to prepare. The gravity of what we do in this room on Sunday mornings means you cannot come in unprepared. I worry that some of you think that worship is like letting a match just happens. It does not. It does not it is spiritual warfare. And that means you got to you got to be ready. The primary preparation is prayer. Okay, that’s the primary preparation. So you ought to be praying for yourself, for the Congregation for any inquire seekers who will come in on that Sunday morning. And of course, for those leading as well. Puritan preacher Henry scoter says it like this, then pray for yourself, and for the Minister, that God would give him a mouth to speak and you a heart to hear as you both ought to do. And all this before you shall assemble for public worship. So we pray, we pray to get ready and might be in the car on the way over here might be the night before might be as you sit in the pew before the service begins, because you came on time. And ideally, all three. In addition, you meditate on the passage, we give it to you in the bulletin, in the pulse. And on those bookmarks we make for you, you know, excuse
absolutely no excuse for you not to have read the passage we’ll be looking at each Sunday in advance, and ideally, many times and meditating on it as you go. And maybe again, that happens one more time, just as you sit down and just go read it through. I’m gonna pray through one more time. As we get going. I think part of this preparation involves rest. I would encourage you to watch your Saturday nights. Get home on time, go to bed at a reasonable hour. This is not the time to binge watch something on TV. I have stayed up too late one time in my six years here as pastor because I take this very seriously. Now it’s a little different. Like I stay up too late, I lose my voice kind of thing. But one time I’m this is my 20th reunion for my high school. So I feel like there’s a little bit of excused but I still feel bad about it. Rest. Okay, rest, that’s a key piece and then arrive early. As I said, Because you arrive late is to miss that time of preparation. It is certainly to miss fellowship, you can’t greet one another warmly. And I guarantee you if that’s how you’re coming in, you’re coming in with distractions. And that’s not a good thing. Prepare, second, participate, participate from the beginning, hearing the call to worship because he then you come in late and it means you think this is on you. This is not what God has for you here God’s blessing an invitation to enter the gospel rhythm at that time, and then participate fully sing wholeheartedly. Hold bodily as well, right. You are not an audience member. You don’t know the tune, you can still participate fully as you’re learning it. Like why this song? Why are we singing these words and actively work to learn the tune? Listen at attentively. Especially during the time of instruction, of course, take notes, dialog, and trying to encourage us more and more in this you can respond when I speak. And part of that is, you know, when we talked about this last week, that when you see somebody else worshiping fully, it triggers something in you. The same thing can happen when you get a hearty Amen, it goes, that was good. That was so it was important, I needed to hear that that was for me, and follow, like, follow the train of thought and whatever is being said, I am not always easy to follow. I know that. Amen. testify. Exactly. But the reason why is because scripture is not always easy to follow. And honestly, the arguments of our culture are not always easy to follow. And they require nuance if we’re going to reach the culture, it’s hard work, we come to do hard work in the service. So work hard to follow. And if you got questions, come and talk to me. I’m so open to that. Go back and listen to it again. I know a lot of people who do that follow what’s happened, what God has for you pray along with whoever is leading in prayer. Westminster Confession of Faith says that prayer is a pouring out of our hearts to God, distraction is pouring it aside. We don’t want to do that prayer is not the time to go good. everybody’s eyes are closed, I can see what that text was. Prayer is a time to commune with God. And then you leave as one cent, not one going home to watch the bears. Right world of difference again, third, then. So prepare, participate, and then process will reflect on what you’ve heard and seen and done and song. Because we are to be doers of the Word of not just hears of it. And this is one reason why we listened attentively, of course, so that we can process the application personally, and come prepared to discuss it at our community group. So I’ve given you a very broad contours right there, prepare, participate process, you’re gonna get together in your community groups, and you’re gonna go, you know, where I really struggle is the preparation piece. And here’s what I think I need to do so that this looks different, moving forward, and you’re going to make it personal for you. That’s what it is the process, of course, we prepare, we participate, we process you do that you’ll find yourself shaped by this gathering in powerful ways. Because what we do shapes what we will be as a corporate body, but as individuals to take this seriously. Want to be a gospel shaped church, we got to practice gospel shaped worship, God is perfect and glory. And we fall far short of that and feel the gravity of both of those statements. Then God saves us in Christ through His death and resurrection, experience, his grace, and then respond, because gratitude leads to heartfelt obedience and urgent service. Let’s pray together. Lord, even in this moment, as we continue in worship, would you help us to put into practice what we talked about this morning,
made the peace of Christ rule in our hearts even now, may the message of Christ dwell among us richly, even now. And whatever we do, Lord, maybe be done in your name, and for your glory. And Lord moving forward as we plan the services more intentionally and participate in the more intentionally Would you let the gospel shape us more completely, to be the people that you’ve called us to be? For the sake of Your kingdom in your name?


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