Last fall, I had an amazing opportunity to get together with some friends for a few days, away from the routine. It was such a good weekend, and over the course of those few days, we took some time to look at worship. We studied, discussed, questioned and commented and now all that has been collected and compiled, and it’s available in paperback and for Kindle.
Here’s a bit from the introduction:
We will look at three altars and the circumstances surrounding their building. We don’t build altars anymore because of the work of Christ. His sacrifice was sufficient. It’s no longer required. It’s true that blood is no longer required to atone for our sins, but we’ve lost touch with the significance of sacrifice in worship. A sacrifice allows us, forces us to confront the idols of our heart and abandon them.
The altars we’ll consider were built by ordinary men chosen by God to undertake great tasks. One prophet, one priest (of sorts) and one king. The altars were built in moments of thanksgiving, of confession and of affirmation. There is no wrong time to approach God.
Then we will look at two songs of praise. The songs are offered by two women, one from each testament. Praise is the moment the internal encounter can no longer be contained and spills out of us.
Several themes will emerge as you move through this book. While the sections have titles, the themes criss-cross and intertwine themselves across the chapter boundaries and throughout the unfolding revelation of Scripture. Confession. Cost. Obedience. Surrender. Watch for them. Allow yourself to be challenged by them.
Accept this invitation to draw near and consider the God we worship, consider His worthiness and consider how we respond to Him.
Seize this opportunity to take inventory of yourself, and to listen as God speaks. See worship as a gift rather than an obligation.
Understand as you go, God inhabits the worship of His people. You cannot encounter Jehovah and leave unchanged.
Build the altar.
Honestly, I’m not trying to sell you a book. But most of you reading this have been with me from the beginning, and I wanted to share some of what that weekend meant to me. If you pick up a copy and work your way through it, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Maybe you’ll decide that you and three or four friends need to take your own weekend to talk and listen and share and learn. And worship.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13