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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Simple Church Minute 100--worship

My name is Tom; this is Simple Church Minute
            Today, we look at the word “worship.”  To the early church, worship was how one lived one’s life moment by moment.  First Thessalonians chapter 5 verse 17 directs us to “pray without ceasing”.  This indicates that worship and prayer were more a continuous attitude than something that only happened at a special time.  Part of the way the believers stood out from society was that faith in Jesus was a quite irreligious religion.  They had no temple, holy men, ritual, no special times, they weren’t just Jews anymore. They were not united in occupation, in an era of occupational cults.  The church met together informally and regularly.  They gathered to praise God, spoke to each other what the Holy Spirit put upon their spirits, they prayed, encouraged each other.  Fellowship was worship, but all of this was no more so than any other time lived to honor Jesus.
            After the legalization of Christianity, formality and, ultimately, ritualized meetings became known as worship.  Over time, various styles of music have been associated with worship.  So, too, did ethnicity, association to political leaders. Worship became associated, sometimes by force of secular law, with direction by specially accredited individuals, chosen for training in ritual or intellect or music, at various times and places.
            The direction of the Holy Spirit throughout history has not been subject to human dictates and formalities.   The Spirit blows where he wills.  I believe this is why he oftentimes moves powerfully specifically when the situation is worship that is informal or is in a manner than is contrary to whatever human rules are in vogue at a time, and believers allow the direction of worship to move outside human control.
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