The form of our worship, should it matter?

I found the following comments on Leviticus 6-7 helpful:

Jesus said that God must be worshipped in spirit and in truth. And it has become commonplace to contrast spirit and form as if they were incompatible in worship. “The letter killeth but the Spirit giveth life” is a text that out of context (2 Cor 3:6) can be used to justify slapdash leading of services and other Christian activities. Spontaneity and lack of preparation is equated with spirituality. Lev. 6-7 denies this: care and attention to detail are indispensable to the conduct of divine worship. God is more important, more distinguished, worthy of more respect than any man; therefore we should follow his injunctions to the letter, if we respect him.

A glance at the performing arts dispels the illusion that a great and spirited performance can be achieved without practice and attention to detail. Indeed great actors and musicians spend hours studying and rehearsing the works they are to perform, so that they can recapture the spirit of the author and convey it in their performance. Audiences expect performers to aim at perfection in the concert hall. Worship is also a performance, a performance in honor of almighty God. As no orchestra can give of its best without a competent conductor and meticulous rehearsal, so no congregation is likely to worship our holy God in a worthy manner without careful direction by a well-instructed minister.

Gordon J. Wenham, Commentary on Leviticus.

The need above all other needs (…) is the power of the Holy Spirit

I think there can be no doubt that the need above all other needs in the Church of God at this moment is the power of the Holy Spirit. (…)
We may be sure of one thing, that for our deep trouble there is no cure apart from a visitation, yes, an invasion of power from above. Only the Spirit Himself can show us what is wrong with us and only the Spirit can prescribe the cure. Only the Spirit can save us from the numbing unreality of Spiritless Christianity. Only the Spirit can show us the Father and the Son. Only the inworking of the Spirit’s power can discover can discover to us the solemn majesty and the heart ravishing mystery of the triune God. (Tozer)

Ordinary – White Horse Inn Podcast

The White Horse Inn podcast recently held a series titled “Ordinary”. I found these both convicting and challenging, especially the first one. See below for links to the various podcasts

I’ve come to the point where I’m not sure anymore just what God counts as radical. And I suspect that for me, getting up and doing the dishes when I’m short on sleep and patience is far more costly and necessitates more of a revolution in my heart than some of the more outwardly risky ways I’ve lived in the past. And so this is what I need now: the courage to face an ordinary day — an afternoon with a colicky baby where I’m probably going to snap at my two-year old and get annoyed with my noisy neighbor — without despair, the bravery it takes to believe that a small life is still a meaningful life, and the grace to know that even when I’ve done nothing that is powerful or bold or even interesting that the Lord notices me and is fond of me and that that is enough.

Tish Harrison Warren, Courage in the ordinary

Here are links to each podcast:

1. Courage in the Ordinary 

2. Ordinary Excellence

3. Extraordinary gifts through ordinary means

4. The God of the Ordinary

5. Ordinary life and Vocation

Thomas Watson on the Horsegate scandal

See the difference between God and a great part of the world. (…) Men are unjust in their dealings. This is, [I] In using false weights. ‘The balances of deceit are in his hand.’ Hos 12: 7. It is sad to have the Bible in one hand, and false weights in the other. Or, [2] In adulterating commodities. ‘Thy wine is mixed with water,’ Isa 1: 22: when bad grain is mixed with good, and sold for pure grain. I can never believe he is good in the first table who is not good in the second. He cannot be godly who is not just. Though God does not bid you be as omnipotent as he is, yet he bids you be as just.

Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity

John Newton on Church Hopping or Shopping « The Reformed Reader

There’s a lot of church hoppers around. unfortunately, there has always been and there will always be some people who never settle down anywhere. We’ve had a few over the last 2 years. Here is what John Newton (author of Amazing grace) had to say about this: John Newton on Church Hopping or Shopping « The Reformed Reader.