My wife and I recently returned from our Spring Break trip. We traveled over 2,300 miles and crossed 9 states. The driving was excellent and each stop went well. Our car, however, did not enjoy the first 1,000 miles of our trip. Not long after we got out of our home state, she started making sounds. Every stop I would call my Dad to talk through what was going on and look under the hood and check the basics (what little I know, anyway). Nothing came up.
We were blessed to get to our hotel (over 1,000 miles from where we started) before the car started smoking. The next morning I began making some calls to see if any one could get us into there shop same day. I got an offer for next day, and thought that would be as good as it gets. My Dad suggested I call the local auto parts store to see whom they recommended, and I got the name of one more mechanic. If we could bring the car in right away, he would give her a look.
We took our poor, little Taurus into the mechanic who was about two and a half miles away. On the way the power steering went out and she stopped smoking. As I stepped out of the car, the mechanic comments, “Well, you definitely lost your belt.” Come to find out, we not only lost our radiator belt, but three pulleys as well. The mechanic was surprised we had made it as far as we did. He had our car up and running within 4 hours, including lunch hour!
Provision is a key theme to this story, as is provision for our worship. Just as my wife and I provided nothing in our car story, neither do we provide anything in our worship. Our role in worship is simply to respond (and respond appropriately, one might add). God makes all the provisions for our worship. Not only does he provide the backdrop with His salvation history, He provides the mediator in Jesus, and the means through the power of the Holy Spirit.
God’s Provision for Worship
God provides worship by making us one in Christ through the Spirit that we might worship as one body, as one people responding to God. He provides with us the written memory of God’s acts and the ability to have a communal memory as the Church. He provides us with the living Word and the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion. He provides us with voices and song and the ability to worship in different postures.
God also provides us with faith. It is this faith in the salvation history, stored in our memories, that brings us into the presence of God. God is omnipresent, present every where at the same time. However, he does reveal this presence in a blessed way to those whom He has reconciled to Himself, particularly when two or three are gathered together in my name. God is transcendent and immanent, just and loving, seated at His throne, and in our broken midst. This may just be the greatest provision of them all.
God’s Provision for Life
God’s provision for worship ought to shape how we understand worship and how we approach worship. Certainly this idea focuses worship on God, and not on us. Worship does not begin with us nor does worship end with us. Worship begins with the Alpha and the Omega. God’s provision also points us towards humility. This Friday we will remember Christ’s extreme humility, which, brought together with His resurrection, is God’s ultimate provision for our lives.
Jason Palmer is the Administrator of TalkingWorship.com. Jason has a Bachelor of Science in Ministry with a Worship Arts Major and Music Minor. He has lead worship for evangelical churches for 7 years and desires to see worship leaders become confident in their calling.