Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Worship as Defiance

Every week we gather here for worship in defiance. We gather here as revolutionaries. And this service of worship is our revolt. Here as we proclaim the Triune Name, as we sing the Psalms, hear the Word of our King, feast at His table and receive His blessing, we do so in defiance of all the powers of sin and darkness and evil. Here in our worship we defy the greed and materialism of our culture and state, and we give tithes and offerings to our King for the growth of His Kingdom. Here we defy every form of sexual tyranny and oppression and the guilt of sexual sin. Here our Master who knows our dark hearts and sees the horrific tragedies all around us, here He assures us of His love and washes us clean. He proclaims our utter and complete innocence and silences every accuser. Here we defy the arrogant claims of military and political powers who brandish their missiles and guns and economic sanctions. We sit down at the table of the Lord of Armies, and we eat our bread with joy and our wine with joyful hearts trusting the Lord of Armies to crush the heads of the proud and the violent. But we defy sin in every form. We defy the wretched sin in our families, in our neighborhoods, in our church. We come here not because we see all things put right, but because we refuse to make peace with the way that sin ravages lives. We come here torn and brittle and broken, week after week, because we see all the ways in which sin seeks to destroy us and our loved ones and our world. We see families torn apart; we see children abandoned and neglected; we see our loved ones grow old and suffer from disease; we see our brothers and sisters across the world raped and beheaded and burned for the love of Jesus. And despite all of this, despite the giants who taunt us, despite the sin and guilt that haunts us, despite all of this, we gather here to defy it all. Despite the dark clouds, we gather here to proclaim that the giants will fall. We gather here to proclaim that our King rose from the dead and every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Him Lord of all. And this means that we gather here in defiance. We proclaim that there is one King, and His name is Jesus, and that we will serve Him until our dying day. And we will serve no other. And wherever and however sin clings to us and to our families, we are gathered here to say “No, we will not serve you anymore.”

“Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself. This He said, signifying by what death He would die.” (Jn. 12:31-33)

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