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New Horizons

Helps for Worship #8: The Call to Worship

William Shishko

Jesus calls us from the worship
of the vain world's golden store,
from each idol that would keep us,
saying, "Christian, love me more." ("Jesus Calls Us," stanza 3)

The world calls us to its various forms of worship every day. Advertisements call us to spend our money (the worship of mammon). In various ways, we are called to give our time to sports, television, and other amusements (the worship of pleasure). We even so plan things that we become the center of our own lives (the worship of self). The call to worship for Lord's Day services is designed to call us away from all other worship so that we will focus on the true and living God.

When you come to worship on Sunday morning, you may be upset after an argument in the car on the way. You may feel harried after getting your children out of Bible school classes, into the bathrooms, and up to the auditorium (on time!) after hurriedly giving them snacks. You may be tired from a busy previous week. You may be out of sorts for any number of reasons.

The call to worship bids you to put all of those things aside and enter solemnly and joyfully into the high privilege of worship. God himself, through his minister, calls you to give him the glory that is due to his name. Listen carefully to the words of the call to worship (NKJV):

"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise" (Ps. 100:4).

"Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness" (Ps. 29:2).

"Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! For He has done marvelous things" (Ps. 98:1).

"Oh come, let us worship and bow down" (Ps. 95:6).

Then rejoice that your Creator and Redeemer has called you to join with others in the highest calling for those who are made in his image and saved by his grace.

"Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at His holy hill; for the Lord our God is holy" (Ps. 99:9).

For Reflection

  1. Read the Scripture text given for the call to worship for your next worship service. How does that passage call you to worship God?
  2. Can you, in faith, believe that God is calling you to worship through his minister? How does that change your outlook on what you will do following the call to worship?

The author is pastor of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Franklin Square, New York. Reprinted from New Horizons, May 2006. First article in series. Next article. Index.

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