CHURCH of CHRIST
"One God, One Family of God"
205 East Holland Street
San Marcos, Texas 78666
Worship and the New Life
For centuries Christians have recognized that as we worship, so we believe, and so we live. Worship stands at the center of the church’s existence and the formation of Christian identity. In worship, the people of God remember and rehearse God’s great acts of disclosure and deliverance in our history. We praise and adore God for the gifts of creation and redemption in Christ.
The center of Christian worship is the Lord’s supper, which unites us in remembering the sacrificial death of Jesus and encourages us to offer ourselves to the Lord as living sacrifices (Rom. 12:1, 2). Christian proclamation, prayer, and singing in the New Testament and early church were characteristically Christ-centered. In content, Christian song is an instrument of teaching enabling the word of Christ to dwell richly in God’s people as we teach and admonish one another in wisdom with thankfulness (Col. 3:16).
In manner, Christian singing from the very first and for nearly a thousand years was “a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name” (Heb. 13:15) without accompanying instruments. Singing a cappella (“in the manner of the chapel”) was encouraged by reformers such as John Calvin and the Puritans in England and America and remains the practice of some 300,000,000 members of Eastern Orthodox churches. The practice of a cappella singing recovers both the “original design” of the early church and the common practice of the whole church for centuries.
Christian worship delivers us from the illusions, distortions, and distractions of the world. Worship releases us from preoccupation with our limited thoughts, abilities, and feelings. Our worship reminds us, as Paul says, that our ultimate hope and confidence reside not in ourselves—not in our possessions, our feelings, our intellect, or anything we can measure and manage—but in “God who raises the dead” (2 Cor. 1:9).