Good Summer day to you! It has been a super long time since posting here. I do intend on getting back to it!
If you have read some of my previous posts you may recall a few entries on the value of being part of a church family and connecting with other believers – this entry revisits that topic. I am anticipating a joyous yet cautious Sunday at my church as we open this Sunday for corporate worship in person for the first time in months. In a timely way, I read a concluding chapter in a book today about corporate worship. It stirred in me thoughts and reinforced some of my beliefs about the value of being together with brothers and sisters in Christ to worship. I know sometimes I have struggled to begin to articulate or explain in words the value I have found in corporate worship. John Starke in the book The Possibility of Prayer shared it this way: “The New Testament calls us toward something deeper than that (referring to the calling of a career or the sense of an obligation to something). We have been called to a body. If you’ve ever wondered what God wants for your life, here it is at least a partial answer: to be deeply connected and involved in the body of Christ. You won’t be satisfied until you are. That’s how callings work. If we aren’t working toward our calling, we feel out of place, always a bit off. And the reason why I say deeper calling is because it’s deeper than a feeling or intuition about a direction in our life. This isn’t a feeling, because we often do not feel like being sacrificially involved and deeply connected in the lives of others. But since it’s deeper than a feeling it provides deeper satisfaction than a feeling can. Our spiritual lives are not hindered but are enhanced by other Christians.”
As I read this, some additional thoughts clicked. In the many – I mean many counseling ministries I connected with in relation to seeking freedom and victory over the sin in my life there is a resounding commonality – the importance of connecting with a local church in corporate worship. There is a reason. As quoted above: “Our spiritual lives are not hindered but are enhanced by other Christians.”
Earlier during this COVID time I read another thought provoking devotional on corporate worship from the May 15th entry of Paul Tripp’s devotional book New Morning Mercies. In his writing he challenges us to realize how forgetful we are of all kinds of truth; we forget who God is, we forget who we are, we forget that we live in a broken world, we forget the power of God, we forget the power of God’s word, we forget our need for the body of other believers, we forget that we have an enemy, we forget that we are created for His glory. Get it? We forget! How can we remember? – being together with other Christian believers! “Corporate worship is designed to remind you again and again where life can be found so that you can quit searching horizontally for what you have already been given in Jesus.” I don’t know about you but I certainly can relate to the ‘forgetting’ and needing reminders of Jesus and the truth of the word of Christ. Being part of a Body of Christ in corporate worship helps me remember! As I consider how I interact with the Body of Christ, I am challenged to consider how corporate worship is not just on Sunday morning. Corporate worship happens when I gather with a small group for a Bible study. Corporate worship is when I gather with a group of guys at the local coffee shop to read his word and pray for one another. Corporate worship happens when I meet 1:1 with others for prayer, encouragement and accountability.
How is it part of your life?
I wanted to share this video again too!