Where can God be found?
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.
I may not have “heard it all” but I’ve heard quite a lot of reasons why people do not come to church.
“Sunday is my only day off.”
“I don’t get much out of the service/sermon/hymns/etc.”
“I don’t like the hymns.”
“I don’t like the band.”
“I can worship God on the golf course/at the park/anywhere.”
Instead of answering these specific responses, I think it is better to just let God’s Word speak. God is, after all, the final (and only) authority on this subject!
God wants us to worship him. It is our relationship with him. He is our God, our Savior, and our Father/Creator. We have a very special relationship with him and worship is how that relationship is lived out.
From one end of the Bible to the other you will find the subject of worshiping together addressed and described.
One of the most explicit places is in the Epistle (letter) to the Hebrews:
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near (Hebrews 10:24-25, emphasis added).
God wants us to worship him together. He wants Christians to get together. But how often?
While our entire life is to be one of worship, as it is how our relationship with God is lived out, the regular together-worship schedule is weekly. And the most commonly-held day is Sunday, as that was the day Jesus rose from the dead.
When we come together to worship, we will be stirred up to love and good works by each other. When we come together to worship Christ, we will find that we are provided with the “mutual conversation and consolation of brethren (Smalcald Articles II IV).
In other words, we help each other live our Christian lives! We encourage each other, pick each other up when down, and work together to tell others the Good News.
It may also be helpful to know what really happens with we come together in worship. The room we gather together in for formal worship is usually called a “sanctuary” – which basically means a special place that is set apart for a specific purpose.
The writer of Psalm 63 says that in the sanctuary we will see God, we will see his power and glory.
And we do. I don’t mean just the pictures, stained glass or statues. I mean that we behold God in his word as it is read, preached and sung. In the sanctuary, God also comes to us in, with, and under bread and wine in the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.
At Christmas Christians celebrate the incarnation of God – that God literally put skin on. The Son of God became a human being in order to save all other human beings from sin, death, and the power of the devil.
In the sanctuary this Christmas, we can see that yet again.
In the sanctuary this Christmas, we can receive encouragement.
In the sanctuary this Christmas, we can give encouragement.
In the sanctuary this Christmas, we can find God.
Heavenly Father, as you call me to worship you with others this Christmas, I pray that I will be encouraged, give encouragement, and find you, see you, and behold your power and glory. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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