An update from Ed Mascarenas our Worship Pastor
A Note From Pastor Paul
Over a decade ago God graciously brought Ed Mascarenas to Calvary Brighton to lead us in the worship of our Lord. Over the past twenty-four years that we have been a church we’ve had at least a half a dozen different worship leaders. When Ed came to us, he brought with him much more than a great voice and masterful guitar playing skills. Ed has a true passion to worship Jesus and lead His people in worshipping Jesus, a desire to coach others to be their best, and a true servant’s heart. Additionally, Ed has a pastor’s heart, he truly cares for those that God has entrusted to him. Considering all of this, I asked Ed to express his thoughts regarding worship.
Let Us Worship
I would like to share some thoughts on worship with you. What do you think of when you hear the word “worship?” There are a variety of things that may come to mind such as song, people, activities, praise, adoration, reverence, and service. In the context of a church service what posture should we take? Do we bow, stand, sit, clap or just be quiet and listen? What exactly is worship and why do we participate in it? As you may know there are countless reasons to worship God. I wanted to focus on worship through song and acts of service.
I wanted to start off with a confession if I may. When I was a new believer, I recall going to church and thinking that the worship portion of the service was just music to set the mood of the message. Perhaps this musical set would give people time to get into the sanctuary before the preacher starts. Maybe a young family has little ones to herd and the worship set would give them the time needed to enter church before the message. When I was late to church I remember thinking, “At least I didn’t miss the pastor’s teaching.” I didn’t really understand what worship is.
Singing songs to the Lord congregationally is a way we can come before God’s throne and worship our creator. Ephesians 5:19 states “speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music with your heart to the Lord” (CSB). The Bible tells us to in Psalm 100:1-2 (NRSV), “make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come into His presence with singing.” As a fellow worshiper at CCB, nothing is more satisfying than to hear God’s people (you) shout for joy to God. We as a church are practicing the first three verses of Psalm 34:1-3 (NIV), “I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together.”
As pleasing as a song may be to sing to the Lord, worship is so much more than a song-hour, worship is a matter of the heart. When we sing songs of praise to the Lord our attitude should be focused on Him and Him alone. We need to put our cares aside and keep Jesus at the center of worship. If our heart is humbled during worship, God is speaking to us and the Holy Spirit prepares us for the message of the day.
As for posture, I feel standing to worship, if we are able, shows reverence to our creator. Should we be silent when we worship? There are times when we need to be silent, but we are also to clap and shout (sing) for joy (Psalm 47:1).
Worshiping (serving) God is what we, and the angels, were created for. I like what Revelation 5:13-14 (ESV) says: “And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.”
Can you imagine when we get to heaven what a sight we’ll see? All the heavenly host will be praising Jesus! I, for one, am looking forward to it.
We as believers need to celebrate and give Him praise, not just on Sunday morning but every day. God is so worthy and the only holy and righteous person we can know. He deserves all the glory and honor. And we can exalt Him through the songs we sing to Him as a church. I like what Psalm 95: 1-2 (NIV) says “Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song”!
Is an act of service a form a worship? God gave each one of us abilities, gifts and talents. Should we keep them to ourselves? God wants us the share them for the benefit of others. As 1Peter 4:10 states, “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” God is glorified when we clean the church toilets, as well as when we sing His praise, if done with a servant’s heart.
Whichever abilities, gifts or talents God has given us, we need to glorify God in using them. In doing so we are worshiping God.