Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he that made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name.
For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
Dear St. Mark Worshipers:
Last week, I highlighted Psalm one hundred’s emphasis to worship the Lord. In that “Pastor’s Pondering”, I noted that worship gives us the opportunity to praise, give thanks, confess and receive absolution in our relationship with God and each other. This week I want to highlight yet another advantage of regular worship; that being a time to deepen and grow our faith.
When the Psalmist says, “Know that the Lord is God,” we are reminded not to take God and our faith for granted. Acknowledging the majesty of God as the Lord of our lives and our very beings involves more than just a one time confession of faith. So often we have it in our heads that once we are baptized and saved, that’s all that is needed, once and forever. Yes, I know that some of you may be saying to yourselves that there is that time when a young person goes through confirmation classes and then supposedly “finishes” by standing in worship and reaffirming his or her baptism. However, both of these points in our lives are just a part of a lifetime of developing and deepening our faith and knowledge of the Lord as our God.
In worship we have that opportunity to have the Holy Scripture read aloud for us to hear. The revised common lectionary is used basically so that we are sure to hear the Word from the prophets, an epistle and a Gospel each week. The rotating lectionary helps us dwell in its meaning as we contemplate it during the sermon and throughout the liturgy. Quite often this Word is additionally emphasized in the words of the hymns and prayers. In fact music helps us remember the faith the most, just think of some of the hymns you have known since childhood. The emotional combination of lyrics and tunes helps us learn our faith and know it in ever meaningful ways.
May we continue this month to Know the Lord is God, and to grow in the faith through Worship.
In the peace and grace of God,
Pastor Kirk Griffin