What does it take to trust? Sometimes it’s experience over time; sometimes it’s a deeply moving event that takes place in a single moment.
To believe in God and in Christ revealed through Jesus, it sometimes takes an act of the will and a commitment to remain true to your faith.
Through it all God remains constant—at your side and within your heart. Trust that to be true in these next few quiet moments.next >
What shall I return to the Lord for all his bounty to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord, I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones. O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the child of your serving girl. You have loosed my bonds.
I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice and call on the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!
Psalm 116:12–19next >
When we join together for worship, we're lending our voices to a gathering that has been happening for thousands of years. God's people have always come together in a specific and special way to offer their thanks to God and encourage one another to do the same. It's something that can't be done in a room alone. This special kind of worship has to happen with others participating, too.
Today we read the psalmist's praise and offering to God. Twice we read, "I am your servant," reminding us that gratitude to God always nudges us toward humble service. Yet, both before and after this offering of service, we are given this context: "in the presence of all his people."
Yes, we are called to serve our God boldly and fully, and yet we do so in the context of community with other followers of Christ. That's one of the many reasons why the Church is so important. It is that group that encourages and shares our service.
So, it's time to get out of bed and get to worship. You have a group of people there waiting to join you in praise and service of our good and faithful God.
John Woodsnext >
Lord God, whom we celebrate today, give me a heart of gratitude as I join with others to worship today, so that you might be honored above all. Amen.next >
Be true now in what you hold to be trustworthy;
Be honest now also when you are unsure.
In any and every case, Jesus remains
Close and steadfast with an enduring love,
A love that always shows up.
John Woods serves as minister of worship at Dawson Memorial Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, where he provides input to the areas of music, the arts, worship, and liturgy.
A Hundred Years