Worship - Gospel Simplicity
At Hope Portland, our worship is:
Participatory. A living dialogue between God and His people.
Reformational. Holding to the ancient Christian faith by continually submitting to God’s instruction and the pattern of His redeeming love for the people He has created.
Specific to place. To glorify God and experience His grace in Portland, gathered worship must be shaped in part by the unique culture and gifts of our city, neighborhood, and congregation.
Further Thoughts on Worship
Jesus offers those who follow Him the freedom of simplicity. Christianity focuses our affections upon one treasure – knowing God. By faith in Jesus, we are free to enjoy the goodness and grace of God in every facet of creation. By faith life is motivated by an awe and love for the Living God. Christians have historically called this reverent affection worship.
It is a common thing to leave a church service frustrated that we didn’t receive what we thought we deserved.
We tell ourselves, ‘the music was too sentimental,’ ‘the sermon half-baked and too long,’ ‘the people were still asleep – un-engaged,’ ‘my church’s traditions are mere habits, rehearsed by rote.’ We often walk away from Christian gatherings with the same attitude of critique we take to the movies: 'I paid my money and I have a right to be entertained and immersed in a unique creative experience.'
Leslie Newbiggin wrote,
“For ourselves [Christians] we confess that we cannot speak of rights, for we have been given everything and forgiven everything and promised everything, so that (as Luther said) we lack nothing except faith to believe it.”
Jesus is alive. He has conquered our sin and death. The Holy Spirit is personally present all the time in every fellowship of believers. The reverent affection that surrounds the throne of God never ceases. Jesus never stops ministering the reality of His grace to us.
The gospel simplicity of worship, whether it be Sunday as we eat a little piece of wine soaked bread, or Monday morning as we sip our morning coffee, is faith. In Christ the Christian already has everything she needs to experience the reverent affections of a living connection with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.