Worship as Spiritual Formation
What Is Worship?
Public worship is a gift of God’s grace to the church. It is the means by which God’s people join together to glorify God through adoration and praise. In return, God pours out the richness of bounteous grace to strengthen and nurture those who worship.
The compulsion to worship is more than a personal longing for fellowship with God. It is more than a desire for companionship with people of similar interests. We worship because we are a body. We are not alone. Our worship reveals the true nature of our congregation; it is in worship that our educational efforts, our mission work, our evangelism, our fellowship and social outreach take root. As eating and breathing are to life, so worship is to the church. In worship the Body of Christ is edified and built up. In worship it is consoled and corrected. Worship is the expression of what the Church is. Worship is the language of the body—the Body of Christ we call Milledge Avenue Baptist Church.
Why Do We Gather on Sunday?
Luke’s gospel tell us that “On the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb” (Luke 24:1). Christ’s resurrection—our first Easter—occurred on the first day of the Roman calendar. Early Christians adopted Sunday as their day to gather for worship, designating it as the Lord’s Day (Rev 1:10) to differentiate it from the Jewish Sabbath. That is why every Sunday is the Lord’s Day—Resurrection Day; for we gather to proclaim the saving grace of our resurrected Lord.
Is There a Purpose to How We Worship?
The whole of worship is a celebration of the good news of God’s saving action in history. And in worship—through Word and Sacrament—the church is sustained by the presence of Christ. There are many variations, but Protestant worship is structured around responses to God’s generosity in Christ. Here, in essence, is the biblically-centered structure of our worship.
|The Community Gathers Before God
||Lighting of the Candles
|Call to Worship
|Hymn of Praise
|The Community Hears and Proclaims God's Word
|Old Testament Reading
||The Psalms or the Epistle
||Hymn or Choral Anthem
|The Community Shares in Christ's Life
||The Lord's Supper
|The Community Departs for Ministry
|Hymn of Response