Every Sunday morning, churches around the world open their services with a Call to Worship. This component of the service usually consists of some words of welcome and a scripture which calls us to worship the God who inhabits the praises of his people. Think about the magnificence of that concept for a moment. God attends our worship services.
If you’re like me, this part of the worship service can sometimes seem to hold little purpose beyond letting the folks in the lobby know we’re getting started. The voice coming through the speakers says, in effect, “Finish pouring your coffee and come on in. The music is about to start.”
But when we stop and think about the purpose behind the Call to Worship, it really is quite astounding. The Call to Worship is an assurance from God’s word that he is with us, in the room, in our hearts, among his people. Is that not astonishing to think about? Consider some of the words spoken during a Call to Worship:
- The Maker of heaven and earth calls us into his presence and tells us he will be with us (Matthew 18:20).
- He makes known to us the path of life (Psalm 16:11).
- His steadfast love endures forever (1 Chronicles 16:28-34).
- He hears our pleas for mercy. He is our strength and our shield (Psalm 28:6-7).
- He inclines his ear to our cry and delivers us from destruction (Psalm 40:1-3).
The Call to Worship is a reminder to us that God is not distant or sleeping. He is not playing hard to get, and we are not on his last nerve. The Great King over all the earth, the Creator, calls us to gather to meet with him, and he promises to be there with us.
Anticipate this aspect of the worship service as you make your way to church next Sunday. Hear those words not just as a welcome and a signal that the service is underway. Hear them as a reminder of the promise that God is near to his people and always will be. He is in the room.