Friday, May 01, 2009

Resurrection Life Overflows

As we continue to grow up into a Christian culture together, there will be numerous ways in which the joy and glory of our worship here pours out into our families and communities. And this is the way that it should be. But as we do this we must remember where the glory is, where the glory comes from. The greatest glory, the greatest gathering is this one. The one we are in right now. We call this service, the Lord’s Service, our service of Covenant Renewal. The marks of this particular service are God’s gracious Call to Worship, our Confession of Sin and declaration of forgiveness, the reading and preaching of the Word, our celebration of the Lord’s Supper, and the Lord’s blessing declared as we close. This pattern of covenant renewal is rich with biblical themes and motifs, and it follows the pattern of worship that the people of God have used since the time of the apostles. In this gathering, God promises that we are ushered into the heavenly presence of God in the power of the Holy Spirit. There we are transformed, renewed, changed, and blessed and sent out again into the world to be his ministers of grace and mercy, ministers of His kingdom, seeking to establish the kingdom here on earth more and more as it is in heaven. This is our glory, our joy, and our highest privilege in life. At the same time, this glory overflows. It overflows in numerous ways. It overflows in laughter and dancing. It overflows in lovemaking, it overflows in singing psalms, it overflows in feasting, it overflows in serving the outcasts, the fatherless, and the widows. But it also overflows in more worship, and so over the last few months we’ve held other services of worship and prayer and praise, and we want to continue to cultivate this overflowing Christian culture. But we cannot lose sight of the source; we must not misplace the center. The center is here. The center is our covenant renewal. The center is our sins forgiven, the word proclaimed, and the body and blood of our Lord. And it’s out of this joy, out of this renewal that flows all of life, and all of life flows back into this service. This is the center because here our Risen King meets with us. Here resurrection life is bestowed upon us through the work of the Spirit, and that resurrection life is what follows us out into all that we do and draws back again for more.

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