Worship: Practice for Heaven

Oct 06, 2011

Worship Article Illustration

Do you wonder what our worship will be like in Heaven? The center of our faith is believing in Jesus Christ, with the assurance that we will live with Him and the Father for eternity.

The Bible does give us a glimpse of what that will be like. Throughout the book of Revelation, John tells of the pomp and circumstance that surrounds the throne of God. With angels and trumpets, white robes and crowns, we see that God is enthroned with true worship from beings that desire to give Him their undivided worship and praise. The book of Revelation is filled with the kind of high praise that God has designed His people to enter into.

I have the honor of teaching our Inquirers class several times a year about the foundations of public worship that we enjoy every week at Second. Recently, I opened by telling them that even though there are thousands of books on worship we could read, the only way we fully understand godly worship is to experience it—to practice. Corporate worship is an act that we enter into as a congregation that then pours into our private worship—all of which is our earthly practice for what life will be like in heaven.

As Director of Music and one who works with our pastors each week in planning corporate worship, I can’t help but think of the privilege we have each week to “practice” being at the throne of God. It causes me to want to give God our best in every component of worship. We have the great honor each time we gather to emulate the worship of the heavens. The picture I have of this celebration is glorious: choirs of angels in robes of white, trumpets of gold — clouds of smoke and all bowing with reverence to the King. Is that what you picture? In our feeble attempts, the church has strived to create this sort of high worship that captures the glory of a majestic royalty.

It causes us to look at worship with great reverence, awe, and the sort of pomp and circumstance we give to human dignitaries without even blinking an eye. Why do we not want to worship God with more ceremony than we give a politician at a state dinner or a bride at a wedding?

This church has been blessed with so many talented and gifted stewards from all disciplines that it is an incredible experience to “practice worship” with you all each week. I pray that you will take seriously the opportunity to rehearse being in the presence of God each Lord’s day. Remember that when you come into corporate worship that we are entering into the heavenly courts with all the saints who have gone before us, and we gather to sing the hymns that the archangels will sing with the loud trumpets: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty.

As we sing that great hymn this Sunday, let’s remember that we are joining with the high heavenly band in the most important thing you will do this week: worship. Why don’t you try to imagine when you enter the sanctuary on Sunday that the worship we experience together will be even greater in heaven. But, go ahead and get some good practice this week!