Gathered Together . . . As It Is in Heaven

In their book, “Worship Together in Your Church as in Heaven,” Josh Davis and Nikki Lerner challenge readers on the discussion of worship. “Many times as we approach the subject of worship, we are asking the wrong questions. What kind of music do we like? What are the felt needs of the congregation? Who is our target audience? In what ways can we best worship God?  But, what if, instead, we were to ask the question: what does God desire? Ephesians 5:10 exhorts us to ‘try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord’ (ESV). Instead of focusing on what is pleasing to us, let’s find out what pleases God.”

While their book specifically discusses the importance of multicultural worship, its implications for us cannot be overlooked. As we approach Pentecost and the celebration of Providence’s anniversary, we begin an exciting time in which we can all worship together—on earth as it is in heaven! In preparing for this, perhaps we can more sincerely consider the question posed above, “What does God desire?” Throughout the Bible, we see many diverse worship expressions: “standing up, sitting down, bowing down, laying prostrate, clapping hands, raising hands, shouting, silence, stillness, and dancing – it is easy to find all of these in scripture.” Clearly, there are many ways in which God’s people worship – and I think all are pleasing to God. When we get to the heart of the matter, God desires us—His people. Our worship, then, should be a glorifying “Thank You!” to God. When we can do this together, I believe we are strengthened as a community. I am reminded of the glimpse at heavenly worship John gives us in Revelation 7.

I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb … They cried out in a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

These heavenly worshipers are gathered together, proclaiming with one voice as God’s people. I am excited that we at Providence Baptist Church will soon have the opportunity to do the same—to gather together as a church, the people of God. May our worship echo that of the heavenly creatures that surround the throne of God as we proclaim, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

Soli Deo Gloria!