Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, (Hebrews 12:28 NIV)
I invite you to have a participatory reading with me today. Look up the word “worse” in the dictionary. Then, scroll down and find the word “worst.” Then, notice the word that separates the two. Amazing, isn’t it?
For those too impatient to go to the dictionary, the word that separates worse and worst is worship. Yes, this is just a coincidence of spelling, but it does serve as a powerful analogy. If we want to assure that things do not go from worse to worst, we need to focus on worship.
The original recipients of Hebrews lived in a time of crisis. First, there was a theological crisis. People were struggling to identify exactly who Jesus was. Second, it was a time of political crisis. Christians were being persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ. This political crisis brought about a personal crisis for believers in Jesus. Finally, the church was in crisis. People were leaving the church confused and disappointed. Let’s see: theological crisis, political crisis, and church crisis of people abandoning their spiritual convictions. One might say that this letter is written to folks just like us.
What do we do in such times when we realize that we live in a “shaken kingdom?” In times like these, we remind ourselves that there is a “kingdom, which cannot be shaken.” For that, we give thanks and let our worship go up with reverence and awe.
I remind myself often that it is impossible to worry and worship at the same time. When I find myself worrying, the best solution is to begin to worship.
As you prepare yourself for worship this coming Lord’s Day think about how powerful worship is and how necessary worship is in all of our lives. Don’t neglect the gathering of the people of God.