July 9

Ephesians 1:8b-13

“so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory.” vs. 12

Early Christian communities had to deal with a variety of issues as they began to consider how to live as Christ’s people in a culture teeming with alternatives. The process wasn’t easy and leaders struggled to offer prescriptions that aligned with the gospel and the traditions. There were obviously many disagreements, just as there are in contemporary congregations. But there was general agreement that all those who had believed the good news and had put their hope in Christ should live for the praise of his glory. That continues to be a mark of genuine worship in our communities of faith. No matter what our denomination, we share an appreciation of what has been done for us in Christ. So when we come together there has to be room for genuine, unbridled praise and thanksgiving. And some congregations have become masters at making songs of praise the core of their worship. Their singers are magnificent and the music is loud and fast with many repetitions and repeated phrases. Of course such “performances” aren’t for everyone and some followers of Jesus prefer chorales and quieter songs–tastes vary widely. But those who hold up holy hands and sway with the rhythms have discovered a powerful way to offer their testimony, one that speaks volumes to those who are searching for a more “lively” expression of faith. And when Christ is glorified how can any be critical?

Thought for the Day: What makes worship come alive for me?

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