Intro: You are a chosen race! A royal priesthood! A holy nation! God’s own people! – in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light (1 Peter 2:9)
Christians have found joy and strength in worshipping together since the earliest days of the church when they gathered in the Temple to praise God. So the Methodist Way of Life asks us to commit to worshipping with others regularly, as God’s holy people, to proclaim God’s wonderful acts.
So what is worship?
- It’s a way of celebrating God’s presence with us – we come to worship because God is already there to make us welcome.
- It helps us proclaim the good news: Jesus is building the kingdom of God through the Holy Spirit, and we’re invited to help.
- It creates a space where we can say yes to God’s saving grace in our lives.
To read: Isaiah 6:1 – 8
To think about: why do you come to worship?
With whom do we worship?
- With other people – and other people are different from us. People whom God calls
to worship may not be like us in a number of ways, perhaps in terms of culture, race, social class, income, sexual orientation, age, disability, even understanding of the nature of Christianity – but all are welcome.
- With others in the universal, eternal church, which spans the centuries and exists in all the nations of the world.
- With ‘all the company of heaven’, surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses
Archbishop Rowan Williams, in Being Christian (2014), writing about Holy Communion, reminds us that we are there because God invites us, and we should remember that this obliges us to see the person next to us as wanted by God. God desires that person’s company as well as our own.
To read: Colossians 3:15 – 17
To think about: How diverse is the community with whom you worship?
How regularly do we worship?
- Worship was at the centre of the practice of the Early Church. Luke tells us in Acts: “Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God” (Acts 2:46 NRSV).
- Many mothers and fathers of the Church over the centuries have stressed the value of regular praise, prayer, thanksgiving – in a word, worship. For many, worship is a daily exercise in faith, and regularity of worship is normative and formative in our discipleship.
- In responding to Our Calling as Methodist Christians we should remember that regular worship is not only a feature of what we are called to do but is ‘a means of grace’, an activity to which God calls us so that our faith is strengthened and we become more and more aware of God’s love.
To read: John 4:19 – 24
To think about:
Did the Covid-19 pandemic make us reappraise our commitment to community?
Why does regularity of worship matter to us?
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We acknowledge that sometimes, circumstances can prevent you from getting to church. If you regularly can’t attend as a result of an illness or disability, please get in touch with us and let us know, as there are ways that we can support you. We would also like to hear from you if there is anything we can do to make church more accessible for you.