Worship: What is it?
Worship is a gift from God, a fruit of our salvation, a foretaste of heaven, the primary means through which God instructs his people in the truth as well as a culmination of the knowledge of God (cf. Ps 27:4; 63:1-2; 73:17; 84:10). Through Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit, God calls us to himself, speaking to us through his Word which he confirms by his sacraments, and granting us the gifts of faith, repentance and love by which we may respond appropriately.
Therefore, we draw near to God in a manner appropriate to how God has drawn near to make us a people for his name: our worship is Trinitarian, Scriptural, Responsive, Reverent and Full of Joy.
God made himself known to us through his Son, Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit. There is no other way to come to the Father. Therefore, we worship the Father together with the Son and the Holy Spirit, one God and Savior forever.
The worship of the triune God is a participation in God's revelation concerning himself. Worship is an expression of theological conviction, not a product of imagination or a matter of taste. The Bible, given through holy men by God's Spirit, brings to our remembrance the acts of God our Father, and his will for us in our Lord Christ Jesus. The word of God is a living and transforming power, and is intended by God to pervade the thoughts and to direct the desires of his people, to equip us for all of life. These holy scriptures fill our sermons, our prayers and our songs.
Worship is a communion of the triune God with his people. When his servants preach to his people, when they administer the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper, it is God's word they are to speak, and they perform the visible aspect of God's invisible actions. When the people respond with thankful singing, earnest prayer, and cheerful giving, it is God working in them both to will and to do these things because it pleases him to draw us to himself.
Reverent and Joyful
Because God is holy we approach him in repentance, with reverence and awe. Our services are simple, orderly, oriented toward God, and acknowledge that we are brought together in worship by the Holy Spirit. The joy that belongs to knowing this Lord and Savior is both solemn and very full indeed.