The Presbyterian Church has a number of important understandings about worship, a primary one being that worship is an act of community. Individual, private devotion is good and powerful and meaningful, but it is strengthened by the regular gathering of the faith community in shared worship.
In our weekly worship, we do several important things:
- We set apart as holy a time to offer praise and thanks to God.
- We make public (communal) confession of our humble need for God’s continued work in our lives. By admitting our sin, we acknowledge that we are all “works in progress,” and we remind ourselves to be forgiving of others in our lives who are also “works in progress.”
- We study scripture together — the shared hearing of scripture and sermon can kick off debates and discussions throughout the coming week that open us to new understandings of God’s word.
- We pray together, believing that a burden shared is a burden diminished and a joy shared is a joy multiplied.
- We are sent forth together, reminded to carry the love of God into the week ahead.
- Lastly, but importantly, we celebrate the kind of community that is built up by regular sharing in praise, confession, study, and prayer. So many of our relationships in life are “lived at the surface.” Worship is an opportunity to share life at greater depth!