Our group had quite a bit of discussion about the key idea, “I worship God for who He is and what He has done for me.” We believe that perhaps the wording “as well as what He has done for others” should be added to that idea. We pray for others, individually and in groups, for our church, for our country, etc. And, we are grateful to God for all that He does, whether we specifically request/pray for it or not. We believe God does a lot for us that goes unknown to us, and the same applies to others. We are just very thankful to God and worship Him for the ideal that we strive to attain (constant struggle). As always, we do our best to “walk the talk” and not be “empty Christians”.
We discussed the idea of worship; what it means, how we do it and where we do it. We talked about our different worship experiences and how it affected us. We talked about where our desire to worship came from and how it changes as we get older, or does it?
The Monday afternoon group talked about how worship of God can be expressed in many different forms & environments. A group of Mam Indian believers meeting in a home by firelight in the mountains of Guatemala, an American family worshiping on the rim of the Grand Canyon at summer worship by the National Park service, and those gathered at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City may all be faithfully and joyfully joining in worship of the One true God. We agreed that the hymn singing at Noblesville 1st Pres. is an especially inspiring part of worship here. Many sing words of praise to God as if they really mean them!
A challenging question concerning the passage on p.184, Daniel. Do we live in such way that non believers like pagan King Darius can’t sleep when they worry for our safety?
P.186, Paul & Silas, beaten and bleeding, yet singing hymns of praise to God at midnight! Fortunately, in US believers aren’t often beaten & bleeding for bearing witness. Although 9 were murdered in Charleston S. Carolina this past year. But can health challenges and disappointments give us opportunities to still praise God, in spite of such trials?
An elderly member who couldn’t hear was still showing up in worship faithfully. When asked why he continued to do so, he responded he wanted to show folks “whose side he’s on”! When we join in the public worship of God, we may be demonstrating whose side we’re on!
Great discussion in our first week back! In the video, Randy Frazee expressed a concern that we tend to take our religious freedoms in this country for granted. This leads to being very lax when it comes to our worship practices. The good news is that we have so many opportunities to worship both individually and corporately. We worship in song, prayer and thanksgiving. We all find that we can become distracted during corporate worship, and sometimes it’s important to hone in on the music and message. Distractions in everyday life, like news media, sports, tired routines can separate us from God and prevent us from truly worshiping Him in everything we do. By engaging with others in corporate worship, we renew our spirits and bring Christ-centered focus to other areas of our lives.
The meaning of worship and the forms of worship dominated our small group discussion tonight. We agreed that God’s expectation is that we worship Him. We also shared distractions to worship and their source. We recognized that at times we are distracted from meaningful worship by our own busyness, lack of focus and worldly concerns. We examined what parts of the church service brought us into an attitude of worship. It was different from person to person as you might expect. We also acknowledged that Satan works in subtle and overt ways to ruin our worship experience, either in private or in congregation. This can sometimes take the form of individuals whose purposes may be couched in Godliness, but, are the workings and influences of the evil one to divide, confuse and lie. We talked about different church worship styles that appeal to one person but not the next. However, knowing that we can learn to worship wherever we are, there is a common thread that is centered in Christ and his Word.
A group member’s favorite song depicting worship is “Lord of the Dance.” Enjoy this rendition: