21 Sep “Reverential Joy”
Dear HLPC family,
This past Sunday we looked into Revelation 4 and got a glimpse of the worship that surrounds God’s throne in heaven. We drew some applications to our own worship from that passage. I want to expand some on our own philosophy of worship here at HLPC in light of that passage.
What we attempt to pursue in worship is “reverential joy.” That’s a phrase I ran across years ago that I believe captures a helpful goal of God centered, Christ exalting, Spirit empowered worship. As I’ve said before, worship is not a pep rally for Jesus, nor is it a funeral service. We want to realize we are in the presence of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords while at the same time grasp that we are welcomed there as His sons and daughters in a family gathering. I think our worship does a good job of capturing reverential joy in our music, participatory forms of worship, responsive readings, confession of sin, and regular partaking of the Lord’s Supper.
We have a pretty substantial pulpit—a labor of love hand crafted by Kenny Rahn. This heavy pulpit is by design—no Plexiglas podiums, thank you. The pulpit has been referred to by some of our spiritual forebears as the “sacred desk,” for on it the Word of God rests. The intention is to elevate the authority of the Scriptures over the one who stands behind it. As long as I’m your pastor, I intend to wear a coat and tie in the pulpit. This is not because I see this as a Biblical requirement (it’s not) and I don’t view those who do otherwise as sinful. But I understand the task of preaching God’s Word to be the highest privilege and responsibility I have as a minister of the gospel. I want what I wear to reflect that. I’ve told our military members that I’m choosing to wear my “Class A” uniform when preaching.
Worship should be viewed as something we all get to experience together and not as an item to be checked off on a spiritual to-do list, or even as an infrequent spiritual “add-on.” May God give us all a greater desire for worship centered on Him and may that worship shape and mold us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.
P.S. Please pray for me because next week I’ll be in Medellin, Colombia teaching a course on Christology, the doctrine of Christ. I leave next Monday and will be teaching at Seminario Reformado Latinoamericano (SRL). I will be traveling with Dr. Noe Acosta, Chancellor of SRL, and friend of our congregation. You can watch a video of the SRL campus in Medellin where I’ll be by going HERE.