Bible study 8. Worship

STUDY 8              

From Bible Reading Fellowship “New Daylight” daily readings.

Contributed by Penelope Wilcock, Christian author.

Start with opening prayer asking the Holy Spirit to guide you. 


Understanding and not understanding 1

They are like children “We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.” For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say “He has a demon.” The Son of Man (Jesus) came eating and drinking, and you say, “Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.”  

Luke 7:32-34(NIV)

Jesus confronts the reality that some just can’t see. They thought John was crazy because he was an ascetic and they think that Jesus is a slob because wherever he goes there is a party. 

The feasting that seemed to accompany Jesus everywhere he went, whether supper at Martha and Mary’s place or afternoon tea with Zacchaeus, was not about the food and drink. Maybe his critics failed to see this or they were refusing to acknowledge the real issue because it showed them up in an unfavourable light.

The parties that sprang up around Jesus were the bubbling over of gratitude and joy. Lazarus raised from the dead. Zacchaeus the social reject given an offer of unconditional friendship from the most popular prophet in town. They were celebrations and – unlike the established religious leaders—Jesus gave people something to celebrate. If you are healed, forgiven, cleansed , renewed, restored, how can you not help rejoicing?  Spontaneously , in heartfelt gratitude, as Jesus restored them to the  health and hope they thought was gone forever, the people celebrated. 

  1. Criticising John for his asceticism and Jesus for his partying the people of Israel could not see that both were right. The Pharisees, the “spiritual experts” of those days could not see what God desired. 

Have you ever felt something was wrong and then later realised that it was actually part of true worship and praise? Share this. 

  1. Jesus mixed with many people who were considered to be ”beyond the pale”. Have you ever thought we shouldn’t party or drink because we’re Christians? Or mix with people who were not like us? 

Have you ever known criticism yourself – because of your behaviour, but you knew you were right with God?

  1. What about noise and “frantic” worshipping and singing. Can you see that God is happy with this? Michael Flynn read us Psalm 150 recently on ZOOM. Lots of noise was encouraged.
  2. What a great picture of happiness and joy we see in Penelope Wilcock’s last paragraph. 

Yet some Christian denominations used to condemn such emotions and actions.


Understanding and not understanding 2

As the Ark of the Lord was entering Jerusalem Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. When she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart. 

2 Samuel 6:16

Here is another example of someone who didn’t understand. 

  1. Michal thought David’s actions were vulgar and unworthy of the dignity of the King. But God thought otherwise. In verse 21 David tells her “I will celebrate before the Lord” 

Can you see the worship in David’s actions or do you feel like Michal? Or a bit of both!

  1. Do you believe that God understands the preferences of all people and allows it if our hearts are truly on him?

PRAYER

Lord, help us to worship and praise you in the ways you want. Help us to accept the ways of others and not despise them. And thank you Lord that you understand our failures.  AMEN