Gardendale Nazarene

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Old Testament | Pastor's Blog | Gardendale Nazarene

Old Testament

The Calm of Worship

Over the past few weeks, a prayer for worship has been in my heart.  I pray that as we come to worship, we anticipate God doing great things in our midst.

When I think of worship in theological terms, my mind runs to the idea of chaos versus the absence of chaos.  In the Old Testament, we see a poetic relationship between water and chaos.  

Think of it this way, God brought order to the world in creation.  Prior to creation, there was just water (i.e. chaos).  Then God spoke over the waters and separated (literally, pushed back) the waters.  In doing so, He created a place for His creation to live.  We begin to see the image emerge that when God is
not present, there is chaos.  

This brings a deeper level of beauty to the Noah story.  There in the midst of the flood/chaos is a family delivered by the hand of God.  In the crossing of the Red Sea, we see God once again pushing back the waters and delivering His people.  

We can even jump to the New Testament and as the disciples strain against the oars, they see Jesus walking in the midst of the storm.  Then Jesus does the unthinkable- He tells the storm to stop…and-the-storm-stops.

Think about that for a moment.  The storm stops.  We know the stories.  We have been taught them for years.  The storm stops.  At the sound of Jesus’ voice- it stops.  

What does this have to do with worship?  I don’t think King David would have been surprised at Jesus’ power over the storm.  David writes in Psalm 29, “The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.  May the Lord give strength to his people!  May the Lord bless his people with peace!” (vs. 10 & 11 ESV).  

If you would allow me, can I move this praise of David into our context?  I think he might have written it like this in 2014. “The Lord sits enthroned over the chaos in your life.  He is enthroned as king forever.  May the Lord give you strength in the midst of the chaos of your life!  May He bless you with the peace from the God who can calm the storm!”

I don’t know what chaos you are dealing with today.  I might not know what storm you are straining against.  I do know the God who can calm the storm.  My prayer for this Sunday is that when God is present, the chaos is pushed back like the walls of water that day on the Red Sea.