How balanced has the Church been?
Who do we worship?
What is God to you? A father? A friend? An all-seeing eye in the sky? A Creator? A sustainer? A destroyer? He has many faces, many attributes, many qualities, but He is One.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. (Deuteronomy 6:3)
This is the Shema, the great Jewish proclamation, though, of course it belongs to everyone. God is One, The One. He certainly exists as a Three-in-One, but, in the final analysis, we worship One God, The God. This is He who lived in eternity before time and space had been spoken into existence and will return to eternity with His Bride, who will live with Him forever.
In between these times He called into existence the infrastructure for life, then revealed His special creation, the first man, whom He made in His own image. For the rest of the history of this man’s offspring, He watched over them as only a loving Father would. He walked and talked with them until He could do so no more without compromising His own holiness. Even when they transgressed He initiated a scheme, involving the shedding of the blood of animals, whereby His people could sense His presence and interact with Him. He grieved when man fell to such a low in depravity and sin that only one man was left who could redeem humanity, at the cost of the destruction of all but his family. God rejoiced when the offspring of this man thrived and spread through the earth (after a nudge or two) and was especially delighted to find one man of such faith that He could rely on him totally. This man became the father of all and his seed carried a promise that would one day, in potential, redeem all of humanity. This redemption, or fulfilment of the promise, came after a lengthy period of trials and triumphs, great acts of faith and holiness, tempered by acts best left forgotten, except by the writers of His Holy Book, who recounted all these stories as reminders for future generations. The redemption came and so began a fresh process for the healing of mankind. The legacy of this redemption was a people, His Bride, who will one day live with Him forever, but, in the meantime, even they had many lessons to learn.
This is our God. And this is us. Are we truly aware of all He has done for us, despite what little we have done for Him and how much we have done against Him? Do we have a vision of Him that adequately reflects His greatness? Do we really know Who He is? Are words sufficient … ?
How do we sometimes acknowledge Him in our Church services?
We warm ourselves up with a few repetitive choruses, perhaps with a hymn or two. Maybe some prayer and a Bible reading. When the musicianship and singing is good, we feel good. Is this because we feel entertained? Be honest. Does God feel entertained? Is this what it’s all about? Is it about the quality of the sounds we make? This sounds cynical. Forgive me. But …
We call this worship?
This is an extract from the book, Hebraic Church, available for £10 at http://www.sppublishing.com/hebraic-church-101-p.asp