|October 30, 2013|
Dr. Arthur De Young
Carlisle Presbyterian Church
When I wrote this column last, I talked about worship and the fact that it is the most common activity of the Christian Church. While each congregation in this community expresses it a little differently, worship is the central activity for each of our congregations.
I said there are two basic words which must be understood. The first word is WORSHIP. It means worthiness. To worship God is to give God supreme worth. The second word is … well, I ran out of space and said I would pick up what I had to say in this column.
The second word which defines worship is, LITURGY. It is from the Greek, “leitourgia,” which means, “the work of the people of God.” Worship is active – it is something that we do. We are not observers when we worship, we are involved in what is taking place. What is it that we do when we worship?
We READ AND STUDY SCRIPTURE. Through scripture, God speaks to us today. Scripture is read in the style and language of the people, using translations which are rooted in the original texts of Hebrew and Greek. Scripture is then interpreted in the sermon. The sermon explains scripture and tells us how to express the Christian faith in our daily living.
We PRAY. I’ve talked about prayer before. Basically it is “two-way communication.” We speak, but God also speaks to us. In prayer we give praise to God, ask for God’s forgiveness, remember ourselves and others, and offer thanks to God for all that God is and has given to us. Many congregations use the Lord’s Prayer, which is the model Jesus used to teach us to pray.
We SING HYMNS. The Hymnbook of the Old Testament was the Book of Psalms. Many Psalms are still used as texts for the hymns and songs we sing. We need to be aware that the hymns we sing express our beliefs as surely as do our prayers and statements of faith. Because of that, we need to be careful what we sing.
Our hymns are expressed in a great variety of musical styles. I dare say, even within our own community we could hear on any given Sunday, Gregorian Chants, classical hymns, praise songs and many other styles, all giving praise to God.
There is one last thing which we do in worship. We engage in what the church calls, SACRAMENTS. Because we have many different understandings of these, I am not going to discuss them here. Congregations even have different lists of what makes up the sacraments, but most – if not all congregations - observe Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (known by many different names). When you engage in the sacraments, make sure you understand what you are doing.
So, what do we DO when we worship? We “read, pray, sing and engage in the sacraments.” Let us worship God.
(around the corner from Deposit Bank)
P.O. Box 206
Carlisle, KY 40311
Tel: 859-289-8899 Fax: 859-289-8890