… an exhortation.
I don’t know if you realize this or not, but we do not live in Heaven. We labor through thorns and drought, our sweat soaks into the ground and our enemies sow tares in our fields of wheat. Our families are touched by war, disease and death. The church is beset by scandal and division, even while the Lord is calling her to purity and unity. No sir, we do not live in Heaven.
In the midst of all of this non-heavenness we are called to worship. Worship is the Lord’s answer to a fallen world. He said in Matt 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. We pursue heaven in our worship and at times it is a violent affair.
Our worship is a battle in a war whose outcome is secured in Christ Jesus. In that war, we are called to do battle with weapons He provides. Weapons like Psalms and confessions of sin; Hymns and a public reading of His word; Prayers and bread and wine.
Here is the thing, these weapons are effective for battle. They are effective because the Lord fights alongside us, slaying His enemies and raising them up again as beloved friends. Trumpets are sounding, walls are crumbling, the Captain of your salvation is riding forth on a white horse with salvation in His mouth.
He calls you alongside Him and promises you that the gates of Hell will not be able to withstand the onslaught. Look up to the hill from whence comes your help. It is the Lord who made heaven and earth. Come and worship Him.
If you want to hear what this sounds like when I actually get up in front of folks (it never comes out like I write it) it can be found on the Sermon Page of Providence’s website.