Preparing for Worship: January 19, 2014
We may think that the goal of worship is to gaze upon God and be changed. This is certainly true to some extent. When we repent and come to faith in Christ, we are indeed asking God to change us, to conform us into the image of his Son. It is interesting to note, however, that in revelation—the divine activity of redemption—God gazes upon us and changes us, rather than the other way around (J. Todd Billings, The Word of God for the People of God, 80). This is example we have in Isaiah 60, where the nations come to God after he returns to Zion, and he irradiates them with his glory. They become reflections of his majesty in a similar way to Moses when he came down from Mt. Sinai with a shining face (Exod 34:29-35). This change is also the core idea of Aaron’s Blessing in Numbers 6:24-26:
The Lord bless you and keep you
The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you
The Lord lift his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
I wonder how much more God-saturated our worship time may be if our utmost plea is that God irradiate us with his goodness and for his glory. Then we would be changed from the inside out.
Songs we will sing week include the following, provided in a playlist here:
1. A Mighty Fortress is Our God
2. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
3. How Sweet and Aweful is the Place
4. Be Thou My Vision.