Children s moment talk about worshiping together and taking God out together mix up a fruit salad!

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1 Message 07/03/16 Celebrate 1 Chronicles 16:23-31 Children s moment talk about worshiping together and taking God out together mix up a fruit salad! By a show of hands, how many of you like: To fish? To camp? To hike? To knit? To read? To dance? To garden? To play with your grandchildren? If you haven t raised your hand yet, what do you like to do? What brings joy to you? When we are doing things we like to do, we feel a deep sense of all is right with the world. If this day could only last. I know I feel that way when I have time to talk a walk on the Erie Canal trail or walk around Lake Anna in Barberton, or here at Buckeye Woods. It is great to be outside in the sunshine. It s great to walk alone or with a friend. I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude when I am able to just be right then and there. There is a sense of the divine, of the awesomeness of God and God s creation. I feel loved! 1

2 Have you ever had an experience like that? Have you ever felt overwhelmed by God s abundant gifts to you and to all humankind? You might be surprised to know that same feeling is supposed to happen when we worship God! When we are in worship, we ought to feel the awesomeness of God! We are supposed to witness something that is beyond ourselves! We should be in awe, spellbound, mesmerized by the life-giving, life-flowing power of God! And...we should be moved to share with others what we have experienced! Two weeks ago in worship, we received notes reminding us of God s love, and many of you shared those with others! God s love, which we experience in worship, is to be shared, because it is for everyone! All that is to say, worship is important. It is a reminder that our Creator and our Sustainer is still active in the world, and is worthy of our praise. Our scripture for reflection if from the 1 Chronicles 16: Listen to God s word of celebration for you today. Sing to the Lord, all the earth. Tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be revered above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his place. Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come before him. Worship the Lord in holy splendor; tremble before him, all the earth. The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, The Lord is king! Did you know that everyone in the world worships? Yes, everyone! Worship is a part of all of us! The problem with that is that not everyone worships God. 2

3 There are many people who worship other than God. They worship nature. They worship animals, or their livelihood or money or famous people or sports teams. They worship their beds on Sunday mornings. They worship themselves. These people worship idols. Worship means to assign worth or value to something or someone. True worship is to attribute worth to God to reflect upon the value, beauty, and character of God, and to give thanks and praise. Worship is a celebration of all that God has done and is doing in our lives! Don t we all have reason to worship God? The people in our scripture passage had great reason to worship God. Their corrupt King Saul was dead, and God appointed David to the throne. After seeking God s council, David had defeated the Philistines, an enemy of the people of Israel. David had pitched a tent for the Ark of the Covenant to reside in. The Ark was a wooden box that originally contained only the tablets of the Ten Commandments. The ark was a symbol of the presence and power of the Lord 1. The presence and power of the Lord was finally returned to the people of Israel, God s chosen people, and there was cause for celebration! There was cause for worship! And so, King David gathered the people to worship God! When people worship, life becomes vital, real, exciting, daring, and adventurous. When we worship God fully, we find ourselves worshipping in some form or another all day long. And when we do this, we feel the fruit of the Spirit love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. 3

4 In the gospel according to John 4:24, Jesus tells the Samaritan woman at the well, God is spirit, and those who worship God must worship in spirit and truth. Jesus is telling the woman our human spirit is designed to communicate and connect with the Spirit of God. What an amazing privilege to be able to connect intimately with God through worship! Worship consists of who we are at the core and what our heart is feeling. To worship "in spirit" means we are moved and feel the presence of God deeply. Worship happens in church, and then it is taken into the world to be shared with those we meet. When we worship God fully, we want to respond, and our response is often abundant, love-filled service, which brings glory to God. True worship is designed to remain in our hearts all through the day. If we believe this, worship will color in every single aspect of daily existence. We go to a celebration for a 95th birthday or a 60th wedding anniversary, and we worship, for we give thanks to God for all God has done in these lives and in ours! For true worshipers, God becomes the place we flee to in times of pressure. In times of temptation, when we feel weak and assaulted, unable and uncertain, we run to God in our minds and rest upon God s great promises. From this base, we draw joy, calmness, strength, and courage to do what we need to do, no matter the circumstances. Sing to the Lord, all the earth. Tell of God s salvation from day to day. Declare God s glory among the nations, God s marvelous works among all the peoples. 4

5 Author and lay theologian C.S. Lewis knew worship. In Mere Christianity he wrote: It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day 2. Part of our worship consists of thanking and praising God for sending Jesus Christ to this earth, to be our Redeemer and save us from our sins. What a gift God s divine mercy and grace, poured out for us, so that we may live eternally with God! We remember the great sacrifice God made for us each time we celebrate Holy Communion. I invite you to turn to the insert in your bulletin and join me in the communion liturgy as printed there. Benediction: When morning gilds the skies, my heart awakening cries: May Jesus Christ be praised! Today and always, may you worship in spirit and in truth. Amen. 1 https://www.adventistbiblicalresearch.org/materials/theology-sanctuary/ark-covenant 2 5

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