Passage: Amos 5:21-24
Psalm 34:1 I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. 2 My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. 3 Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.
The Power of Celebration
Celebration is vital to our ability to live fully worshipful lives that demonstrate our relationship with God.
“There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!”Abraham Kuyper
We are called to an everlasting preoccupation with God.AW Tozer
In Amos 5 we see a strong reaction and warning from God against the nature of the people’s worship. What was wrong with their worship and what does he expect?
Read, consider and discuss the follow section from the book Why Worship?
How does the worship we share in as a church community overflow into the different aspects of our lives throughout the week? What difference does following Jesus and being loved by him make to our ordinary, every day lives? The truth is that, with Christ, there is no ordinary – every encounter, every task, every situation brings with it divine possibility. So, how would things change if we realised that our gathered worship has the power to shape us and then send us out into the world to worship all the time and everywhere?
As Romans 12 vs 1 – 2 tells us, ‘True and proper worship’ is to offer ourselves as living sacrifices. All of our life is an act of worship. It is so much more than being together as a church community or singing and praying. Whether we are looking after our family, working, spending our money, enjoying time with friends, greeting our neighbour, gardening, cleaning the house, completing a business deal, operating on a patient in hospital, teaching children at school; anything and everything we do can be worship if we do it in God’s power and strength, in a way that is true to God’s way and that gives glory to him. Our places of worship are wherever we are on our frontlines throughout the week, the places where we connect with the people among whom God places us and where we are able to demonstrate the love and purposes of God to his world. No matter the people we are with and what we’re doing, we can all worship God every moment of every day. ’Lyn Weston, Chapter 7 in ‘Why Worship?’
Celebration together is important to our ability to function as a loving community. How do you react to the assumption in the quotation below? How does it challenge us – especially in the world of COVID – as we seek to celebrate?
Take away the unifying experience of weekly worship together under the same roof, and the bonds of affection have frayed.Collin Hansen & Jonathan Leeman, ‘Rediscover Church‘
In the Old Testament, the people of God celebrated using feasts set down by God. As part of these feasts we see:
- They travelled together singing song about God
- They ate together
- They sacrificed together
- They made offerings to God together
What can we learn from these aspects of celebration that will help us to celebrate together in a way that provokes us to worship God at all times?
What have I found interesting?
What has challenged my life, attitudes and actions?
How would this habit help me to become more like Jesus?
How would this habit help me to introduce others to Jesus?
What practical steps do I need to take to incorporate this habit into my life?
Is there there anything I need to pray about, explore further or extra help I need?
Is there someone I should to share with, pray with or encourage