Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Lord's Order of Worship

I read a lot of different church bulletins from week to week and one thing they most all have in common is the order of worship. They list who is to make the announcements, who is to lead the singing, who is to do the scripture reading, those who are to do the opening and closing prayers, and those who are to serve on the Lord’s table. They are all pretty much the same and I suppose that each service is quite orderly. But sometimes I wonder how the services would go it we used the Lord’s Order of Worship. The Lord’s Order of Worship is:

"Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there
rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee;
leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way;
first be reconciled to thy brother,
and then come and offer thy gift"
(Matthew 5:23,24).

This is the Lord’s Order of Worship: "first be reconciled to thy brother."

Imagine the confusion on Sunday morning if the song leader refused to sing until he made things right with his brethren. What if those serving on the Lord’s table refused to serve the Lord’s Supper until they made things right with their neighbor? And what if the preacher said, "I cannot preach today’s sermon until I have first made things right with the elders"?

The Sunday morning worship service probably would not get underway until around four o’clock the next Sunday, but when it did it would truly be a great worship service!

What is the principle that the Lord gives us in Matthew 5:23,24? It is that the quality of the worship is determined by the quality of the worshipper. In other words, the acceptability of any act of worship is determined by the acceptability of the worshipper. The gestures of worship are meaningless unless the heart is right. Jesus also said, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24).

In our congregations today we have an order of worship, but do we have the Order of Worship?
May we all glorify God in our worship.

- Jimmie B. Hill

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