ABC Extra – Luke 2:22-33

January 11, 2010 at 4:45 am Leave a comment

This past weekend at Concordia in both worship and ABC, we continued our series “Shine Like Stars:  Concordia’s Core” with a look at Luke 2:22-33 and the topic of worship. At the end of Adult Bible Class, I offered four lessons on worship based on this text.

Lesson 1:  Worship is commanded by God. Mary and Joseph bring Jesus to the temple “in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord” (verse 24).  Worship is commanded by God and Mary and Joseph follow that command.  And we too are commanded to worship.  And we are not just to worship privately, but also corporately.  As the preacher of Hebrews reminds us, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in habit of doing” (Hebrews 10:25).  Worship is not optional for the Christian.

Lesson 2:  Worship is Spirit-saturated. Simeon goes to the temple to worship when he is “moved by the Spirit” (verse 27).  Worship must be led by and endowed with the Spirit.  This does not mean some sort of Charismatic madness, mind you.  It simply means that the Spirit speaks through the words of Scripture and rests on the praises of his people.  This is why we begin every worship service, “In the name of the Father and the Son of the Holy Spirit.”  We invoke the Spirit’s presence among us as we worship.

Lesson 3:  Worship is from God to us. It is God who first serves us in worship.  He serves us by his Word, by his Sacraments, and by his grace.  We then respond by simply offering to God what he has first given us.  Indeed, this is precisely what happens with Mary and Joseph when they “present Jesus to the Lord” (verse 22).  They present Jesus, who is the Lord of heaven and earth, to the Lord of heaven and earth!  They present what God has first given them in his Son back to God.  This is what we too do in worship.  For we have nothing to bring to God in worship except that which he has already brought to us.

Lesson 4:  Worship is accepted by God. God gives us so much in worship.  He gives forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.  What we return to God in worship is a mere pittance in comparison.  Again, we see this in the case of Mary and Joseph.  God gives to them his Son and, in return, Mary and Joseph bring to God “two young pigeons” (verse 24).  Hardly a fair trade.  And yet God, out of his love, gladly accepts these tokens of worship.

With that brief review of my ABC, here is one additional lesson on worship which I did not have time to cover.

Lesson 5:  Worship is evangelical. Simeon, when he sings his song of worship to God, says, “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentile and for glory to your people Israel” (verse 29-32).  Simeon’s worship of the baby Jesus begins in the temple, but it does not stay there.  For the salvation that Christ brings has been prepared by God to be seen by all people.  Similarly, in the early church, we read about how “Every day [Christians] continued to meet together in the temple courts.  They broke bread in the their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people” (Acts 2:46-47).  Lots of people watched the early church worship.  And, through that witness of worship, “The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47).

When was the last time you invited someone to church with you to watch you worship?  True worship of God can be offered only by believers because it is rooted in and flows from faith.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t invite someone who does not believe in Jesus to church with you.  For it is in worship that God will meet them.  And it is in worship that God will convict them with his Law and comfort them with his Gospel.  It is in worship that God just might save them.  And then they will no longer just watch worship, they will worship.  For they will no longer just see the salvation prepared for them, as Simeon so eloquently sings, they will believe it.  And believing God’s salvation is what worship is all about.

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Entry filed under: ABC Extra.

Should’ve, May’ve, Might’ve – Philippians 2:10 On Baptism, Babies, and Salvation…

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