This week’s sermon was more of a character study than an exegesis. I’m not sure that Luke would have pictured this story being applied in this way, but I still think it’s valid. The basic idea was that the apostles and the beggar both came to the place of worship, the temple, but with very different expectations. The apostles came looking for ways to honour God, while the beggar seems oblivious to worshiping God and is only looking for coins.
I believe that it’s easy for us to fall into the trap of adopting the beggar’s attitude. We come to worship every week, but not always with the expectation that we will encounter God. In contrast, the apostles set an example for us. They came to worship God, but were still looking for opportunities to share the Good News with others they may meet. They expected to meet God and witness His power. What do you think? Does this story have lessons for us? How do your expectations change your worship experience?
The difficulty with preaching a sermon on worship is that the topic has so many facets that any single presentation seems extremely inadequate. Let me throw out a few perspectives we could discuss on worship:
- Worship as praise to God.
- Worship as God speaking to us.
- Worship as God speaking to unbelievers.
- The role of emotions in worship.
- The role of logic in worship.
- The importance of practices in worship.
- The importance of motives in worship.
- Worship as obedience to God’s command.
- Worship as an natural response to God’s grace.
I list those just to demonstrate that any single sermon not only omits the flipside of the coin, but also a whole range of other perspectives. Can you suggest some other approaches to worship that could be added to this list?
Songs & Scripture
Our songs this week focused on meeting God in worship. Do you have any other suggestions?
- There’s a Stirring Deep Within Me (original to Annie Herring 1989, also recorded by Caedmon’s Call in 1994, and later Mercy Me)
- Come to the Table (Michael Card, 1983)
- Come to the Table (Sparrow Records, 1991)
- We Declare that the Kingdom of God is Here (SFP)
- We Have Come into His House (SFP)
- Breathe (Michael W Smith on the 2001 album Worship)
- On Bended Knee I Come (SFP)
- My Eyes are Dry (SFP – originally: Keith Green on the 1978 album No Compromise)