Worship Sermon Illustrations

Worship Sermon Illustrations

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Roosevelt's Retort

Dr. L. S. Bauman, of Long Beach, recently used the illustration that Roosevelt was a church-goer. It is said that on one gloomy Sunday morning during the World War, he walked three miles in order to attend worship. One of his neighbors, noticing this, said to him: "I can worship in the fields or anywhere else." "Yes," replied Mr. Roosevelt, "but no one will ever suspect you of it!"—The King's Business.

What Is Worship?

Dictionaries tell us that worship is the act of paying Divine homage to God. Though manifestly external in varied ways, it remains definitely an internal experience—a matter of the spirit. Little Mary played blithely in the sunshine, catching at something with her hands. Obviously, the child was experiencing great joy. Her observing mother discovered from her words and movements that little Mary was "catching sun beams." She revelled in the golden flood, loved it, adored it. Right now, she essentially worshiped in the sunshine, but not God.

A little later Mother joined her little girl. Comradely they called each other's attention to scenes burnished bright in the sunshine. Mother was careful to mention its warmth and beauty. "God is in the sunshine," she said reverently. "God—warming the world, making trees grow, birds sing, flowers bloom, and little girls healthy and happy. Thank You, God, for the good sunshine!"

That was all. Mother and child went their own way. Later in the afternoon, standing beside a bed of bright verbenas glowing in the sun, little Mary was heard to say, "Thank You, God, for the sunshine!" Mother smiled reverently. She knew that in the present sunshine her little girl had found and loved an ever-present God. Now the child had worshiped, not merely flowers and sunshine, but the Heavenly Father as the good Giver of them.

Every day is full of worship opportunities for the child. Now he is swept away by the beauty of a bird song; a half hour later he may stand amazed before a simple flower. He may reverently plant a seed which, in God's good ground, warmed by His sunshine, watered by His rain, attended to by the child himself leads through a series of experiences producing worshipful attitudes and bringing God into the life of the child. Even the awe of the storm can reveal the Heavenly Father.

To worship best, a child needs a reverent home environment. Father and mother, representing the governing power which the child knows, ought to make this seem good and in harmony with a higher Power to which they look and which they try to express. They should forget form and give attention to sincere experience. The child must find and interpret God through the things he knows and loves best.

A little song in the evening, a glittering star in the night, a word of prayer at bedtime, simple grace before meals, a deep appreciation for one another —such things as these can produce deep reverence in the child and associate God beautifully with his life. They should be an integral part of the home atmosphere and set up to best bless the children.

Worship is adoration, praise, respect, love coming from within and manifesting itself in numerous ways. We are not concerned greatly with outward demonstrations. Let them be what they will. The internal experience, the spontaneous Heaven-ward flight of the soul—that is what counts. It cannot happen amid irreverence or superficial routine in any home. Give the child a wholesome environment to grow in—and to find his God.—Herbert Wendell Austin, in The Lighted Pathway.

To give God the service of the body and not of the soul—is Hypocrisy:
To give God the service of the soul and not of the body—is Sacrilege:
To give God neither is Atheism:
To give God both is Worship.

(Ps. 29. 2; 96. 9)

The word 'Worship' is an Anglo-Saxon word, and means `worthship' or `worthiness'. The word commonly translated `worship' in the New Testament—though there are several other Greek words—is `Proskuneo', to kiss the hand toward. This is thought to be derived from the slave's manner of salutation and homage when he entered the presence of his master, the act being a mark of reverence and respect, and also implying affection. Hence, in ascriptions of worship, we have the expression—`Thou art worthy'.

During one of the Crusades, Philip Auguste, king of France, before he went into one of his battles, removed his royal crown from his head and, setting it on a table with the inscription 'Au plus digne' (to the most worthy), he made his oration, as was the custom of leaders in those days. He asked his nobles, knights and men to forget that he was their king and commander, and to consider that the crown which he had laid aside for the battle would be the prize of the one who carried himself most worthily and bravely and contributed most to their victory. They entered the battle and returned victorious. All gathered round the table on which the crown had been placed. One of the nobles, stepping forward, took in his hands the royal crown and, advancing toward the monarch, placed it on his head, saying-'Tu, O roi, es le plus digne' (Thou, O king, art the most worthy).

(Rev. 4. 4; 5. 9, 10, 12)

When Charles Lamb was discussing with some associates the persons they would like to have seen, he added, `There is one other person. If Shakespeare was to come into this room we should all rise to meet him, but if that person was to enter, we should fall down and try to kiss the hem of His garment.' He alone is worthy of the soul's most reverent and submissive attitude. To see Him is to come to the greatest experience, to see the greatest hour, and feel the intensest passion that any life can experience.—John Macbeath

(Rev. 1. 17; 5. 6-10)

It is often very blessed around the Lord's table to have the mind and heart directed, through suitable teaching and exhortation, to the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and also to the practical godliness that such grace lays claim to in the lives of the children of God; and surely it commends itself to the spiritual judgement of all that what of ministry precedes the 'breaking of bread' should be in the way of concentrating the attention upon the Lord Jesus Himself and His great redemptive work. Other teachings, useful and necessary in their own place, might at such a time be an intrusion and a positive hindrance to spiritual worship.

The saints ought indeed to be in fit condition to worship. But are they so? Do not many come and surround the Lord's table weary, careworn, burdened, vexed with wandering thoughts, finding themselves often incapable of rising above themselves and their circumstances.—J. R. Caldwell

(John 4. 23; 1 Cor. 11. 26)

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