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"Worship Wars" - Preparing for Worship, June 25 2017

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Morning Worship – “Worship Wars”

Just when things are going well, we hit a bump, and like many bumps, it’s caused by a misunderstanding. The trans-Jordanian tribes build a cairn—but this cairn is huge and gets mistaken for an alter by the Israelites on the other side of the Jordan. In their zeal for purity, they head to war against their brethren. It’s a classic tension—the purity of our worship threatens the unity of worship. Can both be maintained?

Passages for Meditation

  • Romans 12:1-2. Our sacrifices are “spiritual” and not physical, like the sacrifices of the OT. Why? What has changed? Why is worship still called a “sacrifice?”
  • Joshua 22. What unique challenges will face these tribes who dwell across the Jordan? How does Joshua instruct them? Why do they build the altar and what is its function? Why do the other Israelites respond the way they do and how does the matter get resolved?

Questions for Consideration

  • Israel is given a centralized location for sacrifice and worship (the tabernacle, and later the temple). What advantages does that have? How does it ensure unity and purity?
  • What are the disadvantages of such a system? What risks does it pose to unity and purity?
  • How about us? What does this passage teach us about the purity and unity of our worship together?

Hymns for Proclamation

  • 302- Come Christians Join to Sing. A classic “call to worship” hymn. Use it to prepare your heart for Sabbath worship.
  • 168- I Greet Thee Who My Sure Redeemer Art
  • 585- Take My Life and Let is Be. What does it mean to “consecrate” our lives to Jesus? Is that similar to offering ourselves as “living sacrifices?”

Evening Worship – “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood”

What would it be like? We continue to consider the character of OT worship this evening. What does the bloodiness of the sacrificial system teach us about our relationship to God? Why are Biblical covenants so bloody?

  • Psalm 126- Oh to receive good news! What hinders your joy? How does this psalm instruct us in restoring it?
  • Sermon Text: Hebrews 9:15-28. Why are covenants in the Bible so bloody? Why is there no longer blood in our worship? What has replaced it?
  • Final Hymn: 235- There is a Fountain Filled with Blood. Blood doesn’t usually “remove stains,” as this hymn describes it. What are some other ways in which Jesus’ blood is not like the blood we encounter in our daily lives?

Tags: hebrews, joshua, purity, unity, worship

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