Oct 22

The Reformation at 500: Made for Worship

We were created for worship. Yes—all of creation was made for worship. The psalmist cries out to creation: praise him! Angels, sun, moon, stars, sea monsters, snow, rain, fire, frost, cattle, birds, people of every age and status: praise him! Praise the Lord! You were made to worship the Lord. This is what you have been created for. One of the great legacies of the Reformation was the Westminster Catechism, a teaching book that John Wesley even adapted for Methodists. The very first question is, “What is the chief end”—that is, the main purpose or goal—of humankind? And the answer is, Our “chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” And what is true for humanity is true for each and every element of creation, from subatomic particles to galaxies, from the seen to the unseen. Worship is our common vocation. We are made for worship. Continue reading

May 23

The God Who Worships

Worship—Christian worship—is in the name of the Trinity. You entered the body of Christ, you were baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Our Prayer of Great Thanksgiving, for Holy Communion, is offered to the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit. We believe in one God Who Is Three Persons, the Trinity, and worship, Christian worship, is in the name of the Trinity. We worship the Trinity, and the Trinity alone. We worship in the name of the Triune God, and of the Triune God alone. Continue reading

Aug 25

Funeral Sermon for Ruth E. (Betty) Kirk

The word “disciple” is a bit foreign to our modern ears. We don’t really have disciples any more. The days of wandering teachers with a small group of close associates are behind us, at least for now. So a good deal of Christian preaching and study focuses on coming up with translations of this important word—so important, after all, because all of us are called to be disciples of Jesus Christ. Instead of disciple, you may hear words like “follower” or “student” or “apprentice” or even “friend.” I like all of those words, and I think they all teach us something important about what it means to be Jesus’ disciples. But this morning I want to offer a different word, one that I think is especially appropriate for our gathering here. And the word is: worshiper. A disciple is a worshiper. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that above all else, a disciple of Jesus is someone who worships. Continue reading