A Worshipping Community
Then say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the wilderness. But until now you have not listened. Exodus 7:16
In every culture, people gather and form a community. Each community carries its distinct characteristics. Those characteristics are often unique, because they reflect the unique identity of that community. For instance, the Chinese celebrates Chinese New Year as a distinctiveness of that community. Those who wish to be part of that community, usually find themselves celebrating the festivals of the community.
The Church is called the people of God. We are a community of God’s people, gather in local churches. What then is the identity of the community of the local church? We share in fellowship, teachings of the Bible and prayers, all those are very important. We participate in mission and evangelism, which is part of the Great Commission. Yet, essential as they may be, in displaying the identity of God’s people, it will not be complete without having to regard the community of God’s people as a Worshipping Community. In the days of Moses, as recorded in the book of Exodus, God is jealous of the worship from His people. In worshipping the true and living God, it sets God’s people apart from the rest of the communities – a distinct characteristic which identifies us a unique people – a peculiar people. God expressed His desire to Pharaoh to let His people go that they might worship Him. It is not just personal worship, but corporate worship which God desires.
Many a times the local church enjoys the fellowship we share with each other. We gather together to listen to God’s words. We pray for the salvation of the lost. But we must also congregate for worship. God longs to see His people gather to worship Him. He longs to receive our corporate worship. It is in corporate worship that God’s presence manifests in the midst of His people, God’s throne of reign is established on earth.
“But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel” (Psalm 22:3)