Reverence, the attitude which looks up in admiration and love to one who is greater and better than oneself, is generally regarded as something unworthy of those who have come of age and who claim that equality is essential to human dignity. With such presuppositions, of course, the very idea of God is ruled out. The Christian congregation, by contrast, is a place where people find their true freedom, their true dignity, and their true equality in reverence to the One who is worthy of all the praise we can offer. (Lesslie Newbiggin, The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society)
As we continued our series, “Marks of a Missional Community” we explored the idea of reverence, awe and wonder. One of my favorite books on worship is NT Wright’s, “For All God’s Worth: True Worship and the Calling of the Church,” and in it Wright raises some significant questions about reverence and awe. The first question is “What is the most beautiful thing you experienced this week?”
How would you answer these questions? Perhaps it was the wide-eyed wonder of a child; a perfectly drawn shot of espresso; a job well done or a piece of music or other work of art.
Wright follows up with these two questions: “What does this beauty do to you?” and “What does this beauty call out of you?” and answers with these words:
“Gratitude—of course; delight—yes, naturally; a sense of awe—well, perhaps; a sense of longing for something beyond, something just out of reach—quite possibly, though if your experience of beauty was the smell of a good meal I hope it did not stay out of reach for long. What about worship? Does beauty call out worship from you?”
How can you live this week with a greater sense of wonder, awe and reverence? Where can you open up your mouth and taste or open up your eyes and see how good God really is? And will you respond with worship?
Here is our complete worship flow:
- Build Your Kingdom Here (The Rend Collective Experiment)
- The Lord’s Prayer
- God of Brilliant Lights (Aaron Shust)
- A Liturgy of Confession
- Video: A Clean Heart (The Work of the People)
- Shadows (David Crowder Band)
- You Alone Can Rescue (Matt Redman)
- A Report from our NJ Serving Team
- Announcements and Offering
- Message (A Community of Reverence)
- We Could Change the World (Matt Redman)
- Benediction (Jude 24-25)
You can learn what other communities of faith experienced this weekend in worship at The Worship Community.