"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." - Jerome

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Who invited you?

There is a story I ran across recently about a pastor that filled the pulpit for a Dutch Reformed congregation one Sunday. The pastor was not Dutch Reformed and began the service in a welcoming colloquial way, thanking everyone for coming to the service. After the service, one of the older members walked up to the pastor and boldly asked, "Why did you welcome us? This isn't your house."

Sunday morning, I was struck by the "Call to worship." In the beginning of our service, there is a call and response, inviting us to worship God. I suppose I was struck by our even having a "call to worship." The call was not merely a Southern hospitable "howdy." It was not something that communicated that we did a good work in coming to church this morning. No. It was the invitation of God, allowing us the privilege and pleasure of worship. The condescension of an infinite God to finite humans that “the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.” (John 4:23) The call to worship reminds us that God is seeking worshippers, and He, not man, has invited us on the Sabbath Sunday to rest in His Son.

“The congregation being assembled, the minister, after solemn calling on them to the worshipping of the great name of God, is to begin with prayer; In all reverence and humility acknowledging the incomprehensible greatness and majesty of the Lord, (in whose presence they do then in a special manner appear,) and their own vileness and unworthiness to approach so near him, with their utter inability of themselves to so great a work; and humbly beseeching him for pardon, assistance, and acceptance, in the whole service then to be performed; and for a blessing on that particular portion of his word then to be read: And all in the name and mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ."

-The Directory for Public Worship of the Church of Scotland 1645


Tim Wilson said...

It isn't God's house either.

We are God's house.

Jared Nelson said...

They need not be mutually exclusive. Though the people are the church, places may be set aside for use in worship and be considered "God's house," in the sense of being dedicated to used for the edification of His church.

Andrew said...

The tenor of your post and of the comments harmonize well--additionally, if each believer is Christ's ambassador, then is it not appropriate for the leader of God's people in a given location to welcome others in Christ's name?