What is the church? A worshipping community.
<<The church gathers for worship so we can help each other to open our eyes to God’s glory. Once we glimpse this glory we cannot help but fall on our knees before him.>>
Church newsletter:- “Ladies, don’t forget the church jumble sale is coming up soon. It’s a good chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands!”
church –funny thing
most people irrelevant
Important us to think carefully.
What are we here for?
What’s important? Why do we do the things we do? How can we make an impact?
Next couple of months
Us to think together
What does it mean to be a community that prays together? What’s the best way to pray for each other?
Live in a world where God isn’t recognised? How should the church be distinctive?
PCC already started to think
Parish Profile: What do we want from a new vicar? What areas would we want him / her to concentrate on?
Worship: “Planning and conducting public worship and working with others who participate in leading corporate worship.”
BUT WHAT IS WORSHIP?
What happens on Sundays. But how?
Presumably not just about saying the words singing the hymns. Got to be something going on inside.
“Sorry”, “Thankyou for everything”, “I will always follow you”.
--What am I letting myself in for here?
Often we do just read the words. Understandable.
How are you meant to worship God when you’ve overslept, kids are ill, got to go to Morrisons?
Wrong idea about worship.
WORSHIP IS THE MOST NATURAL THING IN THE WORLD.
NOT born good singer.
WORSHIP is our natural response to God.
not “drumming up enthusiasm”
“Conjuring up certain feelings”
“God is quite good after all”
Should be the most natural thing of all.
Just come back from holiday: Alps.
Friend’s house, the most fantastic scenery.
Huge valley, dropping away. Mountain towering up.
Stream torrent. steep ravine.
Sometimes the sun at right angle.
NOT “study it carefully, rather well constructed bit of scenery. I must make myself feel amazed”.
Worship is about the “wow”.
Sometimes didn’t notice. wine, clothes.
Eyes weren’t open.
Remember where I was. Wow!
Worship IS the most natural thing in the world. But often busy. Walk around with out eyes clothes.
Coming to church opening our eyes.
Moses job was to open the eyes of the Israelites.
“You saw what I did in Egypt, and you know I brought you here to me, just as a mighty eagle carries its young.” v4
“Very own people” – promise.
“trembled with fear” v16.
When our eyes are opened, we are stunned. All we can say is “wow”. like the mountains
Scared, sorry- grief.
Jesus – love longing, joy and hope
Ephesians 3: 14-21
Paul wrote letter to open the church’s eyes to how amazing God is.
- In Charge
- !! Intimate
v18-19 “I pray that you and all God’s people will understand what is called wide or long or high or deep. I want you to know all about Christ’s love, although it is too wonderful to be measured. Then your lives will be filled with all that God is.”
Once we have glimpsed God’s glory, our lives will be changed.
Opening our eyes is the important thing.
Falling in love with God again.
Been there all the time but “How could I have not had my eyes open?”
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR THE CHURCH TO BE A WORSHIPPING COMMUNITY?
If worship is the most natural thing, opening our eyes.
What does that mean for us?
(1) Come expecting our eyes to be opened.
- !! Hymns
- Bible --> not really a rule book.
- Sermon – If I’m not opening your eyes to God then I’m not doing my job properly.
no point just for the sake of it. but open our eyes.
(2) We should all be helping to open each other’s eyes.
- way we act one of the main things that opens my eyes.
- things we say – what God is doing in our lives.
- Welcome we give to other people
- Our prayers. Do we pray just for ourselves or are we aware of the people around us?
Imagine you’re walking through a crowded street.
Someone looking up into sky.
Hot air balloon
Crowd – people looking up and pointing.
Imagine 200yr ago – first balloon you’d ever seen. Life changing.
That’s what church is about.