The Heart of Worship

According to the Bible, humanity’s primary purpose is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever. To glorify God means to demonstrate through our thoughts, words, and actions how wonderful He is. To the extent that we can do this everyday by obeying him and sharing him with others, there is a sense in which all of life can be an act of worship.

But God is especially delighted when His people deliberately set aside time to come together for the specific purpose of worshiping him. The Bible says that God is “enthroned on the praises” of His people (Psalm 22:3, ESV). This is why the worship of God lies at the center of all we do at Providence. Our weekly worship service begins at 10:30 each Sunday morning. If you are a first-time visitor, attending our Sunday worship will provide you with an excellent introduction to our church.

What is worship?

The word “worship” comes from an Old English word that mean “worthiness.” It means to honor, reverence, and declare the worthiness of the one being worshiped. Worship is not about us. It is not for our enjoyment but for God’s pleasure. Its goal is not to generate feelings and have experiences, but to proclaim His worthiness. Worship that is truly Christian centers on the Lord Jesus Christ, because He is worthy. He is worthy first of all because He is our Creator (Revelation 4:11; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16), but also because He is our Redeemer (Revelation 5:9-12)—He saved us from our sins.

Our form of worship

We follow the tradition of Reformed and Presbyterian churches that dates back to the time of the Protestant Reformation (in the 1500s) when the Bible was restored to its proper place at the center of Christian worship. This practice had become neglected over many centuries but it is found in the earliest Christian writings. In the middle of the 2nd century, a believer named Justin Martyr (A.D. 100-165) wrote, “And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things.”

In the same way, worship at Providence centers on instruction, encouragement, and exhortation from the writings of the apostles and prophets as found in Scripture. We express this through elements of preparation, a call to worship, a congregational confession of sin, prayer, public offering to God, the sermon, the Lord’s Supper (also called Communion), response, and benediction.

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