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A Call to Worship


“Shout with joy to the LORD, all the earth! Worship the LORD with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the LORD is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation” (Psalm 100:1-5, NLT).

Your Bible probably has a subtitle to this text that says something like “A Psalm of thanksgiving.” While this is true of the content of the Psalm, the Psalm is really a Call to Worship. A Call to Worship is an invitation to the people of God to gather together in worship. It beckons us to put aside our distractions and to focus on the presence of God.

I remember when television preachers first became popular. Men like Oral Roberts, Rex Humbard, and Jerry Falwell graced our screens with eloquence and style. As a child I recall listening to those who expressed their fears that people would forsake assembling together for the opportunity to “have church” at home in their pajamas, complete with coffee. But people continued to worship corporately. Then came the advent of the internet and with it the online church. Again, people mused that the assembly would be forsaken by those who would favor of “having church” at their convenience. Neither the television or the internet has replaced the dynamic of gathering with others in a worship experience. Truth be known, it probably hasn’t even made a dent.

My community is still buzzing following the miraculous double overtime victory by Iowa State over the second ranked Oklahoma State football team. I watched the game at home, while my son attended the game in person. Watching the game at home in many ways is better. You can see each play from multiple camera angles. You can see if the ref really missed the call. The television provides a superior view of the plays in the game.

But if you go to the game in person you get the experience. You fight the traffic and strive to find a parking place. You enjoy the tailgating. You march to the stadium and wait in line to show your ticket. You feel the press of the crowd as you find your seat. You breathe deeply and take in the smells of the concession stand. You listen to the music blasting from the public address system. The band comes on the field and plays the fight song, and, if you know the words, you sing along with gusto. The team runs out of the tunnel and you cheer with fans and scream as they take the field. You stand and cover your heart for the playing of the national anthem. The game begins. You may not have the best seat or the clearest vantage point, but you have the experience of watching the game together with friends and strangers. You’ve not only attended the game, you’ve made a memory.

That’s the value of corporate worship. Their is a synergy that occurs when you encounter God with others who are encountering God. Private worship is important and necessary. But worshipping together is a valuable part of your Christian experience. Don’t be content to go it alone. Have the experience, and make a memory!

Categories : Psalms, Worship

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