This is part 2 of an extract that I have enjoyed from a YouVersion bible plan. The plan is extracted from Eugene Petersons book, “Every step an arrival”.
In Part 2, I again turn to the YouVersion bible reading plan based on Peterson’s book. This time about corporate worship. Even though I have been in church/worship services for 4 decades, Peterson articulates the importance of the hour on Sunday so beautifully.
I can Worship in Nature…
The devotion starts with something I have heard people say to me for over 40 years. They say they don’t need to attend church services, “just watching the sun rise over the ocean is my church”. And, up and till now, I have never had a good response to that.
Based on Psalm 65:10, Peterson makes the following observation… “by the time in which it was written (Ps 65:10) it was filled with warnings about the man who would substitute nature for the church and do his worshipping there rather than in the ritual of the temple or church.”
Why worship in church is important
Peterson now explains what worship is and how it plays out….
Christian worship is the sanctification of time and space. That which we look at, live in, and treat casually in ordinary life is concentrated into the hour of Christian worship so that we see its ultimate and eternal meaning. Worship gives a heightened significance to the time and space of the ordinary world. No one could, nor would want to, live in the intense world of worship all the time. But worship does give a sharpness to everything the Christian does.
The way I understand this (and having read the devotion), is that it is impossible to live in a state of heightened worship, being exhilarated each moment of the day. But, the hour of worship on Sunday, would hopefully give significance to one’s everyday life. It’s like the surfer who, after catching a great wave, recalls it long after the event, inspiring her in her everyday life – “I am a surfer!”
Peterson describes it as follows….
“The Christian leaving the hour of worship knows that love, hope, faith, praise, blessing, and grace provide the fractional differences, in minute quantities, that make the eternal difference in life”