Symphony of Worship

joyfulFor years we’ve talked about “attending worship” or “going to worship”.  I don’t necessarily have anything against those terms, but they seem inadequate to truly capture a congregational service that pleases God.  If we learn anything from Israel’s prophets we learn that simply doing the external actions of worship do not instantly translate into pleasing God.  (See for example Amos 5:21-24.)

I much prefer the idea of “taking our worship to church”.  As we recognize God’s presence during the week and continually acknowledge and respond to him we develop an attitude of worship.  This might be compared to practicing an instrument.  The key to learning an instrument is consistent repetition: think of the daily practice of playing the same music over and over and over.

Now, translate that practice to a consistent remembering of God and responding to him.  There are certainly some practices we can build into our lives that help us.  But no matter what those practices might be, we are doing things that help us remember who God is, what he has done and that he is ever near.

I loved the video used during the sermon of a symphony playing part of Beethoven’s 9th, commonly called Ode to Joy.  One man playing the music by himself was lovely, but how much more powerful the song became as more and more musicians joined the song.  Such is our worship.  Beautiful and lovely by itself, but when we join our worship with the worshiping community what joy our heartfelt worship must bring to the one who created us all and redeemed us through our savior, Jesus Christ.

If you are unfamiliar with the English translation of Ode to Joy, the words themselves are inspiring.  These were written by Henry Van Dyke and set to the music in 1907.

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee, earth and heaven reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee, center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain call us to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blessed,
Wellspring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, all who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other, lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals, join the happy chorus, which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us, brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward in the triumph song of life.

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.


3 Responses to “Symphony of Worship”

  1. avatar Thomas C says:

    Great sermon and video. How cool would it be if we contually worshiped…and everyone else around us did the same?!?!? Would defitely make for more peaceful and loving world. And a bonus would be our church family would be closer together because there would be less discontent on things like Instrumental music. Thanks for continuing to challenge us.

  2. avatar Steve Green says:

    I feel like this message could have more impact on us as anything I have heard in forever. Taking our Worship to Church probably is a message we can use to allow us to be so closer to the message Christ brought . We often get wrapped up in that “one hour on Sunday morning” habit we totally miss any resemblance of who we really are as his Saints and how we go about proclaiming the good news 7 days every week. Think about this concept of Christians in Clear Lake worshiping daily in community not just early on Sunday morning! Maybe Be The Church works too?

  3. avatar Byron Fike says:

    Thanks for commenting Thomas and Steve. May we all keep bringing our worship to church on Sunday!

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