How does worship renew our vows with God?
I think most of us have heard more statistics about the decline of marriage than we care to remember.
50% end in divorce. We hear the statistics on the decline of marriage all too often. And even though there is good evidence that the real divorce number for Christians is much lower, I know we all deeply long to see the percentage of healthy marriages growing and continuing to grow.
Most of us have also been hearing the statistics on the decline of Christianity in America in the last few years. (Interestingly, it seems church decline may be related to marital divorce more than we realize.) If you are like me, you have cried out to the Lord from the depths of your heart for his Bride, the church, to be strengthened with power, and built up in the truth.
Our God stands by his vows to us, his covenant with us. He graciously commits to take us as his people and to be with us and be our God. As we lift up our hearts to him in worship, the church joyfully declares the commitment of our deep, permanent devotion to him. He is our highest love. We forsake all others and keep ourselves only unto him. Worship is simply one expression of our perpetual God-ward "I do."
Worship pastor--let me encourage you to consider the way that congregational worship can act as a renewal of wedding vows between God as his people. Think of the dimension in your worship leading and preparation that can highlight the truth that God will never leave, divorce, or forsake his redeemed ones. He is preparing his people, the church, to be a pure and spotless bride. Give your people the opportunity to declare their covenant devotion in response to his self-giving sacrificial love extended to us first.
Read this encouraging piece by our thoughtful brother Zac Hicks, and walk with him through some profound thoughts on congregational worship as the shared renewal of commitment, of covenant--of vows-- between God and his people.