Luke 17:11-19- Trinity 14- September 25, 2011
Worship: God's Gift to His Church
Is worship our gift to God? When we gather together here at Trinity Lutheran Church, are we somehow reciprocating some favor to God – like He gives us something, and we give Him something in return? Of course not! We are saved by grace alone through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. That means that what we do as Christians – whether here in church or anywhere else – whether serving our neighbor or singing a hymn or teaching our children the Catechism – it is never a compensation for what God gives us. Rather it is a faithful response to what we receive. We are not able to give to God anything worthy to be compared to the salvation we have in Christ. And God neither asks for nor needs any such reimbursement. He simply bids us to believe His promise that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus. For such mercy, we worship our God.
The word worship is an old word that comes from worth and ship – like friendship or fellowship. Worth-ship, or worship, is when we ascribe worth or value to someone. God commands us to worship Him. In fact, it is the very first commandment that says that we should have no other gods before Him. This means we should worship Him alone and none other. When God requires us to worship Him, He is simply requiring us to have faith. In this sense worship is not our gift to God at all. No. WORSHIP IS GOD’S GIFT TO US.