Perspectives and Practices of Worship: standing amazed at how Richard Foster was able to pack so many powerful thoughts on worship into just one chapter of his well-known book on the disciplines!
“To worship is to experience Reality, to touch Life.” – Richard Foster
An intervarsity group at the University of Marlyand has been inviting speakers to come to their large group and speak on the different disciplines found in Richard Foster’s book Celebration of Disciplines. A friend asked me if I would come and speak on the discipline of worship, so I reread the chapter on worship. And I was blown away by how Richard Foster managed to pack these seventeen pages with the most incredible, practical, Biblical information on worship that I have read from any author written within the past 50 years. As I read, I was comforted in two ways: 1. I haven’t been making this stuff up. 2. I was graciously and Biblically corrected concerning some of my mistaken perceptions concerning worship. Thanks, Foster.
I hope over the next months to regularly share a snippet or two from this chapter of Foster’s book in order to help us grow in our journey to understand what it means in Romans 12:1 to “offer your bodies as living and holy sacrifices to the Lord, this is your spiritual worship.” This time, I am going to share one important perspective and one practical tool to help you prepare for corporate worship.
“A striking feature of worship in the Bible is that people gathered in what we could only call a ‘ holy expectancy.’ They believed they would actually hear the Kol Yahweh, the voice of God.”
“Find ways to really prepare for the gathered experience of worship. Prepare on Saturday night by going to bed early, by having an inward experience of examination and confession, by going over the hymns and Scripture passages that will be used on Sunday, by gathering early before the actual worship service and filling the room with the presence of God, by letting go of inner distractions so that you can really participate.”
I desire to give you the tools to practice this each week. I will have the Scriptures and songs posted at restorationmusic.wordpress.com by the Thursday before we actually use them for corporate worship. Click on the link and bookmark it. I will send out weekly reminders via the blog with more thoughts from Richard Foster and other worshippers of Jesus. If you use this tool to prep yourselves individually for corporate worship, join the congregation at the Sunday service with your heart prepared and expectant, and review/study what was talked about with your small group, your relationship with Jesus will grow more than you may ever have expected was possible.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.