Monday, 20 August 2012

OCF 2012-2013 worship

God is calling us to a season of worship - He called us to set this year aside to worship 4 years ago and over the last few months he has sent people to us who either love worship or have experience in worship leading. Coincidence? Why is God leading us into this worship season? Our Sunday talks will give some understanding so listen to the podcasts from September 2nd 2012 but here are a few key points:- - Closer to God: when we are worshipping all other things fade away and our perspective is renewed - we will experience a deeper and more vital union with the maker of the universe. It says of the wise men in Matthew 2 v10 that when they saw the star above the place where Jesus was (before they even met Jesus Himself) 'they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy'. Worship restores the forgotten altars and brings a union with God that submits our circumstances, fears, future and hopes to the one who knows our paths. - Closer together: when we are worshipping our union with each other gets closer because we see each other with God's eyes and love each other with God's heart. Worship is best as a corporate encounter with the living God - just as the apostles experienced Him in the upper room in Acts 2 together, God wants us to know the power of His transforming presence in homes, in Sunday morning events, in families, on campus and off campus. Worship brings us together because where the presence of God is then all bitterness and resentment and tiny quibbles with each other disappear. The wise men were rich and powerful and knowledgeable and yet when they saw Jesus in the stable 'they fell down and worshipped him' as one. - Closer to others: when we are worshipping our love for others increases and we capture the heart of God for those who are lost and in need. When we are connected to the compassionate One then we become compassionate ones and our eyes are lifted from our own circumstances to others around us that are crying out for an encounter with God (whether they know it or not) - worship turns us into missionaries and witnesses to the presence that we have experienced. Vital union fills us with His presence that spills over and radiates out to those we come into daily contact with. This coming year we will be worshipping in how we live our lives, in homes and in the Boiler Room (in the centre of the community God has called us to) and in our corporate gatherings and in those places the enemy says we cannot worship we will worship - this is a year of bold and brave encounters with God.