We should always experience two things about God. First is the loving God who accompanies us continuously and are always present in our lives; second in contrast is the fearful God who transcends us and controls the whole universe. Just as most of the current songs that we listen, these days we tend to emphasize loving God who is our friend; but we should not lose the sight of awesome God and we have to balance our knowledge about God’s Presence and Transcendence.
With this in mind, our combined worship service is composed such that we can experience both of these two attributes of God. First of all, we have two major parts to our worship service. The part before the songs composed of announcements and welcome shows our relationship between us and neighbors, and following part starting with the songs shows our relationship with our God.
So, the beginning period is a time to enjoy our loving God all together with our relationship with our neighbors. Look around once. How many joyful moments are present at that time? Newly registered person receives a gift, someone who received Jesus into his life and became baptized becomes a newly accepted member, someone who finished Daily Survival Kit Bible Course is congratulated through hugging ceremony, someone else is appointed as an assistant Shepherd, and there is testimonies about God’s grace in our lives, etc. We can observe these images of how we are growing in God.
Through our active participation during this period, congratulating each other, laughing together, and being joyful, we can truly enjoy goodness of our God. Let’s put together this picture in our minds. Whenever there is a holiday period, all the children that had been scattered come together back to home, they are laughing together, talking aloud together, and are sharing the stories about the happenings about themselves, and the parents sitting there watching this scene is very joyous. Just like these children who are enjoying being inside the protective circle of their parent, we are enjoying our God during this period. I urge you to truly participate during this period of welcome and announcements. And through the relationship with our neighbors as one body, we should experience the loving God.
When that period is over and all of us get up to start singing “All Ye Weary and Heavy Laden,” we are entering a new period of relationship with God and we are going in front of our God who transcends us with awe in our heart for Him. Toward Mighty and Powerful God, with awe in our heart, we pray, offer songs, give our offering with our sincere heart, read together the words given to us that day, and listen to God’s voice through the sermon from the scriptures. We then respond to Him during the dedication time at the end of service. This is how we experience God throughout our combined worship service without losing a moment.
Let us once more understand the sequence of our worship service, and by preparing our hearts and participating fully throughout the service, we should experience our God during each worship service.
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