The peace of Christ must control your hearts—a peace into which you were called in one body. And be thankful people. The word of Christ must live in you richly. Teach and warn each other with all wisdom by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing to God with gratitude in your hearts. (Colossians 3:12-17 CEB)
Paul connects God’s work on our behalf first to ethics and then to worship. What God has done for us in Jesus Christ should lead us to live a faithful and ethical life before Christ, all of which leads us to worship. In gratitude for the work of God in our lives, we live lives pleasing to God. God’s grace and our gracious response come together in corporate worship. A necessary ingredient in passionate worship is genuine gratitude.
Christianity offers good news; our worship should as well. In Jesus Christ, God has entered into our sorrows and is taking us toward such a glorious destination that joy is the most important response we can give in worship. This does not mean that there is a somber aspect to worship; we cannot appreciate how good the good news is until we hear the bad news. But we must not forget that the bad news is not the end of the story; Good Friday leads to Easter Sunday. Our worship should reflect the good news that we have been delivered and we should, in those God-given moments, express our deepest gratitude toward God.
In Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations, Robert Schnase writes, “God in Christ changes people’s lives through Passionate Worship. Worship stirs people’s souls, inspires them, and strengthens them.” (Abingdon Press, 2007; p. 53).
At Waverly First United Methodist Church let’s seek to make worship Christ-centered, life-altering, divinely-gifted, grace-filled, and transformational. We understand worship to be first and foremost truth, not form. And before style, technique, and excellence, there is Christ.
Grace, Peace, & Love.