Thursday, July 12, 2012

Living Worship: 2 Samuel 6:1-5,12-19; Mark 6:14-29

We humans worship whatever we place highest in life.  From culture idols worshipped in culture --from athletes to entertainers, there's almost no limit to the individuals and objects we can lavish with love, time, creative energy, and money.  It might be an accident that a popular TV show is called American Idol--but it proves the point: God made us to worship --and if we won't seek out God and the things of God as the highest good we'll find something less than God to hold up for worship instead.  Money, power, and political ambition and more can all become the objects of our love.

We're really getting thing backwards from God initial intent.  After all God started his commandments with a simple direction: “I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods.” Exodus 20:2–17 and Deuteronomy 5:6–21.  In his Small Catechism Martin Luther wrote this means, " We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things." 
This week, looking at scripture, we can find two stories of worshippers: King David and John the Baptist.  They're lives were full of worship--moments and even seasons when they put God first and foremost.
Wordle: David DancecKing David is described rejoicing in God's presence.  In 2nd Samuel 6:19-19 he dancing in front of the Arc of the Covenant symbol of God's presence in the midst of the people.  John the Baptist shunned any distraction and went out to the wilderness Mark 1:1-14.  He preached to crowds calling them to repentant and he baptized them for repentance preparing for the coming kingdom of God. 
These two very different men experienced God's presence and power in numerous and profound ways.  And they both knew and spoke of God's activity in their lives.  Both men knew God firsthand.  For David that meant a lifetime knowing God's blessings and power, judgement, wrath, and forgiveness.  For John worshipping God meant a time, maybe of few years preaching to crowds and an early death for remaining faithful.
Both men lived worshipping God and for us today both men are models of what worship really is and isn't.  Worship isn't just an hour in a week to go through religious motions.  Worship is living focused on God the maker of Heaven and Earth.  Worship for David meant the freedom to sing, to dance, and to rejoice in the presence of the holy.  Worship for John meant holding nothing back; even his earthly life.
This very same God who David and John worshiped comes today in the person of Holy Spirit working in more ways than humans know and imagine.  He comes to us and we can rejoice in all circumstances knowing that in God's presence we will find true freedom.
Pax, John

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