Volume. XXIV, No. 30
Sunday, 24 January 2010


Worship Part 2 (from New Life B-P Church, London)


Contemporary churches are now known to use colourful and diverse worship styles. The colourful and diversified styles of worship have been the trends of contemporary churches. Sometimes, so called “high-churches” such as Anglo-Catholic churches worship by singing more than speaking. They often worship using incense, bells, images, candles or chants (e.g. Gregorian or Anglican chants). Colourful vestments and prayers invoking the saints are also used in worship. “Low churches,” not meant to be a derogatory term, tend to be less formal and emphasize on the “message” and the “scripture” rather than on rituals. Thus, even in worship, they emphasize the importance of the worshippers’ personal relationship with God through faith in the atoning death of Christ. Charismatic churches emphasize the expression of gifts of the Spirit. They may pray more or sing with uplifted hands. There are also innovative or creative worship styles and Hillsong worship is one of many examples. Sometimes skits and music programs are included in their worship. Some churches even offer mobile worship through mobile phones. Some professing Christians are glued to TV worship programs and send their offering to their program of choice, instead of going to churches to worship and putting offering in the offering bags. I have heard that some churches hold worship services to bless animals and recently mobile phones and computers. I cannot but quote C. S. Lewis here on worship. I must make it quite clear that C. S. Lewis was not a theologian, though he touched on many theological issues. It is a folly if we try to use him for Christian orthodox. However, I must admit that he was excellent at expressing many thoughts that people would like to express themselves. The following two questions may epitomize the problems and confusion over worship in contemporary churches. He said, “As long as you notice, and have to count the steps, you are not yet dancing but only learning to dance. A good shoe is a shoe you don\'t notice. Good reading becomes possible when you need not consciously think about eyes, or light, or print, or spelling. The perfect church service would be the one we were almost unaware of; our attention would have been on God.” In his Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, C.S. Lewis writes, “I think our business as laymen is to take what we are given and make the best of it. And I think we should find this a great deal easier if what we were given was always and everywhere the same” (page 4). It reflects the confusion over worship. Thus, it will be quite meaningful for us to study this subject.

 
Word study from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE)
Last week, I quoted only a portion from ISBE to study the Old Testament term for worship. Today, we need to study its New Testament words: “The principal New Testament word (59 times) is Gr-[ee]k: proskuneo, ‘kiss (the hand or the ground) toward,’ hence, often in the oriental fashion bowing prostrate upon the ground; accordingly, Septuagint uses it for . . . Heb[rew term] shachah (hishtachawah), ‘prostrate oneself.’ It is to render homage to men, angels, demons, the Devil, the ‘beast,’ idols, or to God. It is rendered 16 times to Jesus as a beneficent superior; at least 24 times to God or to Jesus as God. The root idea of bodily prostration is much less prominent than in the Old Testament. It is always translated ‘worship.’ Next in frequency is Grk: sebomai, ‘venerate,’ and its various cognates, Gr[ee]k: sebazomai, Gr[ee]k: eusebeo, Gr[ee]k: theosebes, Grk: sebasma. Its root is Gr[ee]k: sebas, ‘fear,’ but this primitive meaning is completely merged into ‘reverence,’ ‘hold in awe’: ‘In vain they do worship me’ (Mt 15:9, etc.). Gr[ee]k: latreuo, is ‘serve’ (religiously), or ‘worship publicly,’ ‘perform sacred services,’ ‘offer gifts,’ ‘worship God in the observance of the rites instituted for His worship.’ It is translated ‘worship’ in Acts 7:42; 24:14 the King James Version, but ‘serve,’ American Standard Revised Version: ‘serve the host of heaven,’ ‘serve I the God of our fathers’; but both the King James Version and the American Standard Revised Version render Phil 3:3, ‘worship by the Spirit of God,’ and Heb 10:2, ‘the worshippers,’ the context in the first two being general, in the second two specific. In 2 Tim 1:3 and many other cases both the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American) give ‘serve,’ the meaning not being confined to worship; but compare Lk 2:37 Revised Version: ‘worshipping’ (the King James Version ‘served’) with fastings and supplications. Rom 1:25 gives both Gr[ee]k: sebazomai and Gr[ee]k: latreuo in their specific meanings: ‘worshipped (venerated) and served (religiously,) the creature.’ . . . Gr[ee]k: threskeia (Col 2:18), ‘a voluntary humility and worshipping of the angels’ . . ., has the root idea of trembling or fear. Gr[ee]k: therapeuo, ‘serve,’ ‘heal,’ ‘tend’ (Acts 17:25, King James Version: ‘neither is worshipped by men\'s hands’), is ‘served’ in the Revised Version (British and American) . . . . The New Testament idea of worship is a combination of the reverential attitude of mind and body, the general ceremonial and religious service of God, the feeling of awe, veneration, adoration; with the outward and ceremonial aspects approaching, but not reaching, the vanishing point. The total idea of worship, however, both in the Old Testament and New Testament, must be built up, not from the words specifically so translated, but also, and chiefly, from the whole body of description of worshipful feeling and action, whether of individuals singly and privately, or of larger bodies engaged in the public services of sanctuary, tabernacle, temple, synagogue, upper room or meeting-place.” I am going to lay out my eleven guidelines of worship based on the use of worship related words.
 
First, the Bible tells us about manners of worship
It is more like body postures and manners of worship.
1. The foremost common manner in the Old Testament of worshipping was to bow down their heads. Exodus 4:31 (cf. 12:27; 34:8) says, “And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.” Exodus 34:8 says, in particular, that Moses bowed his head toward the earth and worshipped. Joshua did the same thing in Joshua 5:14 “And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?” Jehoshaphat did the same thing in 2 Chronicles 20:18, “And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD.” The publican in Luke 18:13 says that he would not lift up his eyes unto heaven as a sign of his repentance and humility. His worship is contrasted with the Pharisee’s in the context. Bowing down is also found in the New Testament. 1 Corinthians 14:25, “And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.” It is also found in the heaven. Revelation 4:10 (5:14; 11:16), “The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying.”
2. People lift up their hands and say Amen while bowing their heads. Nehemiah 8:6, “And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.”
3. People kneel when they worship and bow down. Psalm 95:6, “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.” 
These postures or manners worship indicate that 1. Worship is not a casual event.
2. Worship reflects the worshippers’ inner awe of God’s glory.
3. The inner spirit of worshippers must be that of humility and the fear of the Lord.
 
Vance Havner said, “Don\'t ever come to church without coming as though it were the first time, as though it could be the best time and as though it might be the last time.”
Lovingly,
Pastor Ki
 

More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

Announcements
Kitchen Rosters:Team Leader: Sis Ethel Chung. Next Lord’s Day Kitchen Roster: Team Leader: Sis Iris Surman.
More people needed for the Flower rosterfor last half of 2010. If you want to serve the LORD in this area, please write your name on the notice board.
To leaders of all fellowship groups, committees & ministries, please let Lively Hope Committee know your plans, programmes, activities for 2010.
Ladies’ Fellowship meeting will be recommencing in mid February.
Seniors’ Fellowship will also start some time in February.
 
Looking Ahead
O-Week at the University of Adelaide in Feb 2010.
Family Bible Camp, Easter weekend, 2-5 April 2010.

Praise & Thanksgiving
Journey mercies: Elder Michael & Sis Alice Lee (S’hai); Bro Joseph Selvanayagam & family (USA); Bros Daniel Ki (S’pore/Adl), Yick Ho Lam & Rexson Tse (Siem Reap); Sis Mariam & Jayden Atijatuporn (Udon Thani) & all others who have travelled.
Church activities over the past week.
Daily mercies, protection, and guidance.

Prayer Items
Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren; Rev Stephen Khoo, Dr & Mrs S H Tow; Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Tommy Brooks, Colin Creaser, Makoto Kobayashi (JPN), Elton Law, Alan Marion, Len & Richard Pearson, Winston Selvanayagam, Fred Volvricht; Mr Swee Liang Ng; Grandpa Ki; Auntie Oei; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Nita Chong’s mother, Annie D’Mello & her mother (Mumbai), Myung Ki, Choon Fong Lee (KL); Fiona & Lehia Paauwe; Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson; Aranka Rejtoe, Susan Veradi, Irena Kurek-Braden; Mrs Win Hooper; & others in affliction.
Cambodia Missions - Rev David Koo & ministry (Sihanoukville).
Laos Missions - Bro Surish Dharmalingam.
iSketch&Tell Studio - Pr H S Lim (Melb).
IBPFM (USA) - missionaries & funds.
Batam Missions, 20-24 Jan 2010 (organised by Ebenezer BPC, Melb) - preparations.
Myanmar Missions, early Feb 2010 (organised by Bethel BPC, Melb).
Ps Ki’s family & ministry in New Life BPC (Lond). For Moslems in the area to receive Christ.
Hopefuls in S’pore; Teo family (Kuching).
God’s comfort in grief: Bro Richie & Sis Myra Hornung; Sis Angela Nguyen & family; Sis Joyce Chen & family; & Mrs Siew Ling Teh & their families.
Journey mercies: Bro Joseph Selvanayagam & family (USA/Adl); Bro Cong Pham (Vietnam); students & all others who are travelling.
Job - Sisters Marion Chan, Hui Wei Chua, Judy Li, & Corinne Teng.
Sis Susan Weng - speedy recovery from complications.
Good health in pregnancy - Sisters Bernadette Ng, & Josephine Wong.
God’s comfort, strength, guidance & care: Sisters Kathleen Creaser & Margaret Hooper.
Unity of fellowship & doctrine of B-P Churches.
Haitian earthquake: Survivors & those who lost their loved ones.
Church bombings in Malaysia: Protection of believers in Malaysia.
 

 

 

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