Our Generation 3 Place of Glory in Worship
Remember 911. The terrorists were striking the symbols of American power: the military symbol of the Pentagon, the political symbol of the Whitehouse, and the Economic symbol of the twin towers. As much as we would like, we cannot get away from “Place.”
The Scriptures repeatedly speak of the disobedience of specific generations, such as those of the flood, in the wilderness, and the Christ-rejecting First Century Jews. Just as David did, we must serve God in our own generation (Acts 13:36). We must be like sons of Issachar who “had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (1Chr. 12:32). Thus, we must see our place in history and discern how we are being conformed to the world in our generation. Then, by grace, live faithfully and with transformed minds. The first failure of our generation we will consider is our failure in worship. We have failed to discern the Biblical form and content of worship. In our day, we have truly become conformed to the world in worship. Rather, for worship to be fully Biblical, we must know the awe of coming to true Zion to renew our covenantal bond with God. As a result, we ought to find our satisfaction in God's magnificent glories, rather than in any other fading pleasures (Psalm 27:4). The gleaming diamond on the ring of our life is worship on the Lord’s Day. If we use worship rightly then we can be satisfied in God as he is given to us in Christ. We partake of our redemption in Christ through the Word and Sacraments. This calls for us to come prepared and ready to receive God in Christ in all His fulness, so that we do not turn to the husks of sin, instead of the banquet of His presence. We must see how lovely is the place of His glory (Psalm 26:8). People drive across America to see the Grand Canyon; The Grand Church Triumphant joints the Church Militant in worship each Lord’s Day and the parade is stretched from here back and forwards through eternity (Hebrews 12:22).
EXPOSITION: PSALM 26
NKJ Psalm 26:1 A Psalm of David. Vindicate me, O LORD, For I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the LORD; I shall not slip.
2 Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart.
3 For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth.
4 I have not sat with idolatrous mortals, Nor will I go in with hypocrites.
5 I have hated the assembly of evildoers, And will not sit with the wicked.
6 I will wash my hands in innocence;
PRESENT YOURSELF TO ME
So I will go about Your altar, O LORD,
7 That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, And tell of all Your wondrous works.
8 LORD, I have loved the habitation of Your house, And the place where Your glory dwells.
FULFILL YOUR PROMISE
9 Do not gather my soul with sinners, Nor my life with bloodthirsty men,
10 In whose hands is a sinister scheme, And whose right hand is full of bribes.
11 But as for me, I will walk in my integrity; Redeem me and be merciful to me.
12 My foot stands in an even place; In the congregations I will bless the LORD.
CHIASTIC STRUCTURE OF PSALM 26
WALK IN INTEGRITY/EXAMINE ME - 1-2
SEE YOUR LOVINGKINDNESS
NOT WITH IDOLATROUS/INNOCENTS
NOT BLOODTHIRSTY/ SINISTER/BRIBE
FOOT IN AN EVEN PLACE TO BLESS
That makes Psalm 26:8 central: “LORD, I have loved the habitation of Your house, And the place where Your glory dwells.”
LOVELY IS THE PLACE OF GLORY
It is lovely because Christ is there. Since we glorify God most when we are most satisfied in Him and in Word and Sacrament he is manifest to us, then our satisfaction in Him should be most complete in Worship. Just as the Psalmist, we are to see the place of God’s habitation as lovely. This is preeminent in the Lord’s Day worship, true Zion. We call and act as if God’s place of glory is lovely by making worship a priority in our lives.
To love Zion, We should:
Prepare for worship
Participate in worship
LOVELY IS THE PLACE OF GLORY
There is a place because God has promised to manifest Himself to His people. Refutatio: Zion is a transcendant place where God's presence is immanent and incarnate by the Word and Sacrament in the perso
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more
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