Monday, May 31, 2010

Take Time to be Holy

One thing I love about First Presbyterian Church, here in San Antonio, is how intentional the order of worship is, beginning with adoration of Christ the King. I love traditional service, as the theology in the hymns is rock solid.

Ev'ry day will I extol Thee and will bless Thy Holy Name
My song shall be of praise and honor, and of Thy glorious acts.
Thy works are wonderful, past our knowing.

Right before the call to confession, George Sturch, read the following scripture.

When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away
Through my groaning all day long.
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah.
I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord";
And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah
Psalm 32:3-5

I run a lot in the lovely Texas heat. As the scripture was being read, I was thinking about how draining my runs are in the hot and humid weather we have had here recently. I thought about the race the other day, where I felt tired and lifeless, before the race had begun, due to the weather!

As George continued to read though, I became encouraged! I love that when we go to God, confessing our sins, He forgives us, and gives us that life again. He literally gives me water, to bring the tired and lifeless, drained out body of mine, into His glory. The story does not stop with I went to run the race, and I could not finish. No, communion with our Saviour is so sweet, and because of His forgiveness, grace, and mercy, I am in relationship with Him. I love all the things God does for us, He is faithful, He tells us I will do this or I will do that...and in this case, I forgave. I have replenished your body with the water you need. No need to be drained and lifeless with Me.

During the prayer of confession we are given time to pray personal prayers, and confess individually, and as a congregation. I personally find this time very powerful. As a group we ask for forgiveness, but as an individual, I have the opportunity every week to say, "God I'm sorry. I failed to be an obedient servant. I did _____ wrong or I treated _____ wrong or I messed up here, or whatever the case may be." I am not sinless, but I am forgiven. Thank you, God for life and vitality!

We move from the time of confession to the Gloria Patri--this is where we sing, "Glory be to the Father..." At this time in the service, the mood/attitude shifts to affirmation and dedication. This is where we state "The Apostles Creed," say the "Lord's Prayer," and sing the Doxology ("Old Hundredth"--Praise God from whom all blessings flow...) This is one of the happiest parts of worship for me, as it is fun to tell God how great and wondrous He is.

Abide in Him always, and feed on His word.
Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide,
In joy or in sorrow, still follow thy Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.
--Take Time to be Holy

I love these words! We enter into the time of proclamation, where God's character is declared. I am challenged by these words--abide in Him always, and feed on His word. It's one thing to read your bible, and to study it, but it's another to feed on His word. "Let Him be thy Guide, in joy or in sorrow, still follow thy Lord." These words not only convict me, but challenge me to be a better Christian. I want to feed on His word; I want to trust in His word; I want to be holy.

This is also where we learn more about God through the sermon. Sermons are one of my favourite parts of church! I love to learn what God has taught the pastor, and what He shares with us. This past Sundays sermon was on Acts 16:25-34, the theme was Counter Intuitive. I loved one of the points that John made, "When you're in prison, do you counter intuitively sing praises to God?" This challenges me. We see that Paul and Silas were in the midst of suffering, and it is here that the power of God, in Jesus Christ, was at work through the Holy Spirit. Glorying God in joy and suffering is counter intuitive, it is also holy. My challenge to you is to take time to be holy each and everyday! Worship well, my friends!

1 comment:

mouser said...

Everyone should stop and think about the praises they have...some they tend to forget about.