The following reflections come from a sermon I preached this past September titled ‘Rehearsing the Rhythms of the Gospel.’ Addressing the importance of our corporate worship being a consistent reminder of the life transforming power of the gospel.
As we gather together to worship corporately, we are rehearsing our faith, and we are rehearsing the rhythms of the Gospel.
What do I mean by this? What I mean is our worship serves to better help us to understand who God is and who we are in relation to him.
Past, Present, Future
This idea of rehearsal takes into account the past, the present, and the future.
My undergraduate studies were in Theatre & Drama, so when I first hear the word rehearsal I immediately think of the process of preparing for a performance.
From a looking back into the past perspective, in order to rehearse there must be something previously established that is worth rehearsing. When it comes to theatre you’re typically working from an already established script. It’s been done before therefore it has some roots in history. But even as you rehearse you are creating something unique. No two performances are the same. So even though what is being rehearsed has its roots in the past, there is something distinctly unique in the context of a new setting. It has roots in the past, encompasses the context of the present, and as you rehearse you are preparing for a future performance.
I’d like to think of our worship in a similar sense. It’s shaped by and has its roots in the past. We gather in this space because of Christ, because of what’s revealed to us in the Word of God. We sing songs written by believers who have gone before us. We pray prayers that have been recited by believers throughout history. We affirm our faith through the Creeds established by the early church fathers. There is a profound richness to the history of our faith.
But, the moments that we gather in this space are not simply replications of the past. Every time that we gather together for corporate worship is a unique moment. A moment in which we rehearse our faith so that we might be able to live it out Monday-Saturday- but even more so we’re rehearsing for an eternity of worship.