<<Trinitarian Worship is led by Christ and inspired by the Holy Spirit.>>
Story – working up worship
In a village far far away, the church bells were ringing. It was Sunday morning, and the faithful were gathering for worship. Debbie was standing on the churchyard path, trying to shepherd her 2 children into the porch in time for the start of the service. Unfortunately they weren't co-operating: Jack had made a pretend sword out of a stick and was more interested in hacking down the flowers by the side of the path than going into the church. Meanwhile Megan was keeping a firm grip on Debbie's left leg whilst attempting to bite the head off one of Jack's plastic dinosaur models. Debbie sighed – she had felt in the mood to worship God a quarter of an hour ago, but now it was the last thing on her mind.
Inside the church, Eric was sitting in one of the pews near the back. He'd felt at home in this church once, but ever since his wife had died, he'd felt increasingly on the edge of things. He blamed himself for Muriel's death, and felt he no longer was worthy to be here. As the vicar announced the opening hymn, he felt his heart sink – he just wasn't in the mood for singing today.
Standing at the front, the vicar, Bill, flicked through his prayer book as the organ played before the service. All that was going through his head was what his wife had said to him as he was leaving the house – something about red socks in the washing. How was he going to lead his congregation in worship?
Is our view of worship unitarian?
Debbie and Eric – for different reasons - shared the same problem, they didn't feel in the mood for worship.
But they also shared the same misunderstanding – worship is something we have to work up in ourselves to present to God. If only we could concentrate hard enough and mean the words enough we might be able to give God what he deserves.
Let me let you in on a secret – that's not what worship is about.
Today is Trinity Sunday – God is not an absentee Landlord up in heaven,
He is Father who sent the Son to save us/ The Son who sent the Spirit to live with us / The Spirit who inspires us to worship the Father.
You see if we ignore the doctrine of the Trinity. Then we picture God - absent Landlord.
Church --> a telegraph cable.
Shout prayers and praises UP, If v lucky, might hear something back.
That won't do if we believe in the Trinity.
Father, Son and HSp are at work in our world.
What's more – fellowship / conversation
Worship is joining in with the fellowship that already exists between Father, Son and Spirit.
Imperfect analogy – the party
Imagine at a party going up to someone you've never met and starting a conversation – Nervous. Not know how to start. Run out of things to talk about.
3 people – at ease – chatting - circle widens.
Maybe they introduce themselves. But they continue chatting about something which you find fascinating – and gradually you're drawn more and more into the conversation, without even noticing.
That's what worshiping the Trinity is like.
Explain that a bit further.
Romans 5:1-5; prepositions “through”
Worship is inspired by the Holy Spirit
v5 “God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.”
Holy Spirit who inspires us – enables us to worship. Not something we bring on our own.
“When we cry 'Abba! Father!' it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Rom 8:15-16)
“No one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor 12:3)
Communion service p7. Eucharistic Prayer
The Lord is here! His Spirit is with us!
Debbie – feel distracted – not focused on God.
Not working up something.
Pray God would pour the Holy Spirit into us.
If we're still distracted- trust.
Worship is led by Christ
v1-2 “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand.”
Jesus Christ peace, access to God.
Sometimes – unworthy, undeserving. Like Eric
We have been made worthy. Forgiven, justified, given access.
Jesus is the leader of our worship – he leads the way to the Father, forges a path.
Communion Service- confession
p.2 “For the sake of your son Jesus Christ who dies for us, forgive us all that is past and grant that we may serve you in newness of life.”
We feel a sense of shame hanging over us. Pray for a new start in Jesus' name. In Christ we are clothed in white robes.
In the village of Comberton, the church bells rung this morning, calling the faithful to worship. How did you feel as you arrived here, as we began our service? And what understanding of worship do you have? Does God seem far away, and worship like a poor quality long distance phone call. Or is God the Trinity of love, Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer.
Let's remember that Trinitarian Worship is led not by the vicar, but by Christ Jesus. And it is inspired not by our good feelings, but by the Holy Spirit of God.