I confess that life begins with confession and worship follows. Humbling myself before God is one of the most healing parts of my weak. To confess to God my sins, failures, and shortcomings lets the air out of my inflated ego. When I confess to God, I no longer need to be something that I am not. Just saying the words is healing.
Confession is a discipline but its real power is in grace. When we confess we experience God’s grace. There is no greater gift that God could give. And the great thing is that God delights in giving forgiveness. The Old Testament is a long story of sin and forgiveness. God’s heart always leans in the direction of restoration. The Israelite can’t help but wander away from God’s ways just as we do ourselves and God sent shepherds and prophets to bring them home. Like the prodigal son, the father runs out to the son to welcome him home.
Out of confession and forgiveness grows worship. Worship is giving thanks to the worthy one, Jesus Christ. Knowing that I have been set free of the shackles of sin, I am unburdened of the heavy yoke that I have carried around so long.
Is worship discipline? Yes, it is. We are commanded by God to honor the Sabbath and keep it holy. God does not say this to have power over us. God does this so that we might have life and have it abundantly. God knows that we need to be in relationship with him. He has made us this way. Our sin is that we do not want to be in need of anyone. We want to rule our own lives and make our way through this life on our own. As my dad use to tell me, “The middle letter in Sin is “I”. We want to live unto ourselves.
But worship is community. We all fall short of the glory of God and are in need. Everyone who sits in the sanctuary is in need of God’s love and forgiveness. No one can point at another person claim that they are better than they are. That is what the world teaches us. God teaches us that we are all in need.
But the good news is that God comes to us. God offers himself to us. We but receive him. Now that may sound backwards, but it is not. God came to the earth. God tabernacle with the Israelites in the desert. God came to us Jesus Christ. Who in their right mind would go out of the way for a sinful, stiff necked, people? God would. As Michelangelo depicted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, God’s majesty arm was reaching down to Adam. God is pure love.
We are in our greatest moment when we know and experience that love. Then and only then do we fully grasp worship. If our attitude in worship is that we having communion and that the service will go 10 – 15 minutes longer, we are to be pitted most. It shows that we have not understood what that moment is about. We are receiving the greatest gift of life. We are in full communion with God. God is present with us as he promised at the Last Supper. And moment is about pure love and forgiveness. And if we think we are not in need of it, we are especially in great need of it.
Thus, the discipline of worship. It is right, our duty and joy… to worship God. Because in doing so, we discover the joy of life on this earth until the day when we will no longer need communion but will be in full communion with him in heaven.