Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, Linglestown, Pennsylvania, USA
Psalm 95 is part of the liturgy of praise and may have been used as procession into the sanctuary. It begins with, "O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!" When we come to worship we are coming to praise God for the many blessings that God has bestowed on us. So many times people will comment that worship is boring but as one seminary professor put it, "Worship is about praising God for the many blessings we have and not about us and how we feel." When I think about the blessings we all have received I think about Abraham and Sarah as they traveled to the places God directed them they would stop along the way and build altars to worship God. God was with them in their journey and God pointed them to the right paths and at each turn when God's promises were experienced they would stop and worship. The second verse of Psalm 95 points to this very act of praising God for God's blessings. "Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!"
Worship is our way of praising God and giving thanks. It is also our way of coming together with the community of believers and lifting up praise to our God. We gather as community to nurture each other and to lift one another up. We gather as community to be refreshed and fed with the worship and praise and thanksgiving and the Holy Communion that strengthens us. It reminds us of the many gifts we have been given from our God and God's most precious Son who died on a cross to save us from our sinful ways. These are all the reasons we are to gather and worship and to give thanks for the many blessings that have been given to us. There is a Christmas hymn that states that we should "Come and worship Christ the newborn King." I invite all of you to come and worship the king of kings. Come and be fed with the bread of life. Come and join the community as we gather to give thanks and praise to our God.
God's peace be with you,
-- Pastor Kerns