03.30.14 Worship Confessional

priesthoodThis morning as we continued our series, “Marks of a Missional Community,” we explored the reality that as followers of Jesus we are a called to be a royal priesthood. I love reflecting on the words of the Apostle Peter as he addressed our identity as the people of God:

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10).

These words flow from an understanding of the the Old Testament and the belief that God’s intention was that Israel as a nation would serve God as a community of priests. In Exodus 19 we read:

Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.” (Exodus 19:3-6)

Douglas Stuart, in his commentary on the book of Exodus, outlined four ways that Israel served (or potentially could have fulfilled their calling):

Live (Incarnate) – Israel would be an example to the people of other nations, who would see its holy beliefs and actions and be impressed enough to want to know personally the same God the Israelites knew.

Proclaim (Invite) – Israel would proclaim the truth of God and invite people from other nations to accept him in faith as shown by confession of belief in him and acceptance of his covenant.

Intercede – Israel would intercede for the rest of the world by offering acceptable offerings to God (both sacrifices and right behavior) and thus ameliorate the general distance between God and humankind.

Preserve (Inscribe) – Israel would keep the promises of God, preserving his word already spoken and recording his word as it was revealed to them so that once the fullness of time had come, anyone in the whole world could promptly benefit from that great body of divinely revealed truth, that is, the Scriptures.

Lesslie Newbiggin writes: “The church gathers every Sunday, the day of resurrection and of Pentecost, to renew its participation in Christ priesthood. But the exercise of this priesthood is not within the walls of the church but in the daily business of the world. It is only in this way that the public life of the world, it’s excepted habits and assumptions, can be challenged by the gospel and brought under the searching light of the truth as it is been revealed in Jesus.”

In what ways does the church take up its’ priestly function in the world today? In what ways might we continue in the priestly tradition of incarnation, invitation, intercesstion and inscription?

Here is our complete worship flow:

  • Hearts Start Beating (Lovelite)
  • A Prayer for the Global Church
  • Our God Is Mercy (Brenton Brown)
  • A Liturgy of Confession
  • Shadows (David Crowder Band)
  • Simplicity (Rend Collective)
  • Announcements and Offering
  • Message (A Community of Priests)
  • Benediction (Matt Redman)

You can learn what other communities of faith experienced this weekend in worship at The Worship Community.

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