Worship as a Way of Life

As Trinity Lakeside we see worship as our joyful priority, an ordering rhythm for our corporate life. Worshiping together in Word and Sacrament helps form us into the people of God. The gospel narrative shapes our imaginations, renews our hope and informs our way of being in the world. The Sacrament of Holy Communion strengthens and renews us to live out our faith and love for God in the day to day of life.

In worship each week we gather to listen to the scriptures and remember the story of God’s goodness. We give thanks and pray God’s will for our community and for the world. We confess our shortcomings and receive God’s forgiveness. We celebrate Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf and receive his nourishment through the Sacrament of Holy Communion. As worship draws to a close, we are commissioned and sent into the world to love and serve the Lord in the power of his Spirit.

As Christ’s followers worship extends beyond our corporate worship times. Humans are worshiping beings and in worshiping God we find ultimate joy. The true joy for which we were made. We’re invited to the peculiar joy of worship as a way of life. We worship God in two ways: contemplation and action. Together, contemplation and action make up our vocation or calling as humans.

To contemplate means to delight in God and his ways. To cast a long, loving gaze toward the God who loves us. In our culture contemplation is defined in myriad ways, sometimes as a journey of self-discovery or finding one’s truth. In contrast, Christian contemplation is not self-focused, but God-focused. To contemplate is to find joy in the One in whom “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). The God who in Christ both created us and by faith restores us to our original likeness to him. The God who with gladness welcomes us into his story of loving the world.

To contemplate is to respond like Mary the mother of Jesus with joy and delight in God’s good, powerful and active presence in our life. Mary is a contemplative at heart, and the Magnificat, her song of praise, flows from pondering our God and his ways. “My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has begun to rejoice in God my Savior, because he has looked upon the humble state of his servant” (excerpt of Luke 1:46-55).

To worship is not only to delight in our God, but also to participate in his story. To find our place in God’s story, rather than finding a place for him in ours. We follow Mary’s example of not only delighting in God, but joyfully participating. “I am the servant of the Lord,” Mary replies to God’s invitation to bear his Son (Luke 1:38). God asks differently of each of us, but we respond to his love by joining him in loving the world. As we do so, we fulfill the original purpose for which we were created. To love God and love others, making the world a place of God’s goodness and glory.

Join us for worship on Sunday mornings at 10 am. Contact Markene@trinitylakeside.org for details.

Published by Rev. Dr. Markene

ACNA priest, spiritual director and author

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