Let’s begin doing this today by reading Psalm 142…
I cry aloud to the Lord;
I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy.
2 I pour out before him my complaint;
before him I tell my trouble.
3 When my spirit grows faint within me,
it is you who watch over my way.
In the path where I walk
people have hidden a snare for me.
4 Look and see, there is no one at my right hand;
no one is concerned for me.
I have no refuge;
no one cares for my life.
5 I cry to you, Lord;
I say, “You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.”
6 Listen to my cry,
for I am in desperate need;
rescue me from those who pursue me,
for they are too strong for me.
7 Set me free from my prison,
that I may praise your name.
Then the righteous will gather about me
because of your goodness to me.
We use the Psalm and song above to enter our time of worship together. The Psalm speaks to our need for God. It speaks of being alone and weary. No one cares about the psalmist’s life or situation. He’s desperate to the point of complaint, but it is deliberately directed at God. Why? Because he knows that the Lord is a refuge for him.
The song is an invitation to the Spirit, who is already present with us, to be active and at work in our midst. It is another step toward God no matter where we find ourselves because we know that in that step we can bring EVERYTHING to him.
- What is worship?
- Is this how we approach our worship times together?
Worship is defined simply as showing honour or reverence to God. Further it is to prostrate in honour and submission to God.
Dr. Bruce Leafblad defines worship this way…
“Worship is communion with God in which believers by grace center their mind’s attention and their heart’s affection on the Lord, humbly glorifying God in response to His greatness and His Word.”
I love this definition because it reminds us that worship, whether in a gathering or in the day to day of life, is not a passive experience
-We make a choice to commune with God
-He has made this choice possible by His grace
-We choose to focus our hearts and minds on the Lord
-We glorify him based on who he is and what he has already said, rather than what he can do next for us.
Back in the 1990’s song writer and worship leader Matt Redman, wrote a song in response to a season of refining that his home church was going through. The leadership had realized that in their worship gatherings, the people had stopped bringing an offering of worship to the Lord and instead had turned into mere spectators of all that was going on.
The song starts with these words…
When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that’s of worth
That will bless your heart
Over the last few months, this song has continuously come to mind and the words that are highlighted to me are “all is stripped away”. We have been journeying through a stretch of time where all that has been familiar in our worship has been stripped away. I don’t have to explain that, you know it.
My question for us is what words follow that phrase for us? Are we longing for something that is of worth to bless our hearts or to bless His heart? Numerous times over the past 6 months Isaiah 43:19 has come up. It reads…
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
Church, are we prepared to simply follow the Lord as he continues to lead us? Are we prepared to acknowledge the things we don’t like to him and allow that to be an avenue to draw near to him, to see his heart, to hear his voice?
We’re going to play the song Heart of Worship, but rather than jumping in and singing, start by listening and asking yourself if your heart is aligned with the words. When you feel you can respond in agreement with these words, then I invite you to sing along in worship of our king.
I want us to take some time privately to bring these complaints to God. They don’t need to be specific complaints about God, but rather prayers of complaint to God.
-Share with him the problem (be honest)
-Invite him into it
-Submit to him by ending praying “Lord give me what you know I need”
I want us to take time together to acknowledge God as Lord, not just of your life, but of the areas of complaint, frustration, hurt, confusion, etc.
-Don’t have to share any more details than you are comfortable with. The important piece as we pray together is the acknowledgement that this truth spoken to Moses is a truth spoken to us as well.
-“I am the Lord!”
Before we close, I just want to share a few announcements:
- RSVP for Sunday in Person Gatherings – We aim to have this open on Monday morning and the deadline will be Thursday at 10am to allow us the time needed to be organized for Sunday. Watch for the email.
- Kids Zoom – a reminder that Zoom Kids Church is this Wednesday, 4:15-5:15 PM for those Preschool to Grade 3, and from 7-8 PM for those Grades 4-8. Keep an eye out for the link that will be sent out from the church office.
- No prayer meeting or youth group this week.
- Office schedule – The Office is open Monday to Thursday. Visits continue to be by appointment only at this time, so be sure to call ahead or email. Katie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, Pastor Greg can be reached at email@example.com, and Pastor Dave can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I encourage you to do two things with your giving that may help a little.
- Do your giving each week as part of this devotional/worship time. I know it is not exactly the same thing, but it does help us view our giving as worship rather than simply a financial transaction
- Take time to pray as you give. Thank God for what he has given to you, acknowledge your trust in him for tomorrow, and tell him why you give to him and the work of his church.
- Best – E-Transfer (no fees)
- email@example.com is the email address you will need to make an e-transfer
- Please include your first and last name in the memo box
- If you know your envelope number please include it in the memo box (*Do not include the # sign as it will not accept that)
- Still good, but with fees – Canada Helps
- https://bayridgealliance.ca/give-with-canada-helps/ and click on the donate button to give
Thank you for honouring God by supporting the Church.
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’