Worship on Purpose
I don’t know much about the Anglican church calendar, but I noticed that today is the Feast Day of St. Aidan of Lindisfarne. The Irish Adrian came to Lindisfarne, from Iona in Scotland. He and his 12 companions established a church and a monastery in 635. The wood frame building was replaced in the 12th century by the current build seen in this picture.
I learned this morning on the Celtic Christianity forum about this ancient place of worship. My first thought was it must be interesting to worship in a place where worshippers had gathered for 1387 years! Those who worship in such a place are not interested in the latest trends and fads. The worshippers seek the ancient simplicity of the past as they worship the Ancient of Days, who became flesh and died for us and rose again so that we might have new life with him.
We Baptists often act as if we invented Christianity just a few years ago. We forget our own church history much less the history of the church. Don’t we understand that When we worship, we gather with all the saints from all the ages. We lay our crowns and achievements at His feet. We let go of everything so that we may focus our attention, not on ourselves, but on Christ in worship.
Worship is not about being attentive to the culture. If we look like culture, why would anyone notice us? Church attendance has steadily declined. The more we try to to look like the world, the more we decline. Baptists think that every service should be evangelistic but what good does it do if all the baptist members are as worldly as the lost? We are the greatest hindrance to many coming to faith.
Worship is a time for Christians to offer their praise and gratitude to the Almighty One who has redeemed us. And it is a time to hear the Word of God taught to us. The non Christian will see and hear authentic Christians, who have been redeemed, and may take our witness seriously.
The book of Hebrews says that we have a mighty cloud of witnesses surrounding us watching as we run the race. We are connected through time and history to every Christian who have gone on before us. They bear witness to us how it is done-we lay aside every encumbrance that trips us and we worship and run. It’s our time. With the short time we have, let us run the race to the glory of God.