Sharing Our Faith Together

The Methodist Way of Life - Commitment 2: We will worship with others regularly

by Rev Jacky Quarmby 6 May 2022

Reading:  Hebrews 10: 19 – 25

We will worship …
Worship is the celebration of our faith in a living God. It is an exultation, a hymn of praise, a great thanksgiving, for the truth and love shown to us in Jesus Christ and made real for us by his transforming Spirit. When we worship, it is not for God’s benefit. Nor do we need to ask God to be with us: God isn’t there just because we have come – we have come because God is already there. 

In the report Called to Love and Praise (1999) the Methodist Church stated that worship has “a twofold intention: first, adoration and praise, and, second, our transformation by the grace and power of God.” In true worship we come to God for transformation through God’s grace.  

We will worship with others …
During the last two years, there have been times when the church has been shut and we have been unable to worship together.  Some have found streamed worship services helpful and for those still unable to attend a worship service in person, they can be a lifeline.  For me personally, however, I have always felt like a spectator rather than a participant in online worship and it is a great joy to be back in church singing and worshipping with other Christians.

The writer of Hebrews said, “let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another.”

Someone once compared a Christian to a burning coal.  All the while the coal is in the fire among other burning coals it remains burning hot, but take the coal out of the fire and put it on the hearth and its heat quickly disappears.  When we stop meeting with other Christians for prayer and worship, it is easier to lose our passion for God and become lukewarm in our faith.  When we meet together, we can support each other and encourage one another.

We will worship with others regularly …
I am always surprised by how quickly the new quarterly plans of preachers disappear.  There is an old Methodist saying, “Blessed are those who attend worship without looking at the preaching plan … but even more blessed are those who attend worship after looking at the preaching plan.”  The saying, of course, refers to our tendency to pick and choose the services we attend depending on who is preaching.  It is my belief, however, that if we attend worship with an attitude of openness and expectation, then God will meet us and speak to us, whoever is preaching.  The important thing, surely, is to be present.

Song:  When the music fades

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God of yesterday,
We thank you for you have been with us 
Through the good and the bad, 
even when we have not recognized you.

God of today
We seek your presence with us now.
Fill us with your calm and peace.

God of tomorrow
We trust you for what is to come;
Give us the confidence to follow in your way.
For we ask this in Jesus’ name