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A Grace of Worship

A Grace of Worship

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord. (Psalm 150:6)

“I often think of the set pieces of liturgy as certain words which people have successfully addressed to God without their getting killed. In the high churches they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a strand of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it any minute. the is the beginning of wisdom” (Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm).

The church service I attend on Sunday mornings is a picture of grace to me. We meet in movie theater. Every Sunday it’s a challenge to transform somewhere people go for entertainment into a place of community and worship. There aren’t any Scripture banners. The sound system has its moments, and the Sunday school classes meet in the halls and in a party room. But somehow, every Sunday, people worship the living God of the universe. Children learn about the Bible and about Jesus who loves them. The pastors teach energetically, offering their wisdom from learning and experience. Somehow it all comes together. And no one gets blasted to bits.

The grace of God was seen when Jesus said to the woman by the well, “Believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem” (John 4:21). Jesus freed us to worship Him in all places, at all times, with the Spirit in our hearts and the truth on our lips. Even in the most secular of places, like a theater. Even in the most hazardous of times, like an early Sunday morning when Im groggy and don’t know what might come out of my mouth. But during those times and in those places we cannot forget who we worship because it’s only by the grace of God we’re there.

He is attentive to us, and we are attentive to Him. We hang on every word He might speak because we are acutely aware that only His grace could have brought each of us to this most unlikely place, with this holy body of rather normal people.

Dig Deeper:

Read John 4:23-24. Ponder how you approach your worship of God. Is it bound to a place or a time? Step out. Worship God somewhere that you wouldn’t have thought previously.



God, I want to see Your grace in all time and in all space. You are here. Help me to see it.

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