I want to spend the next few weeks bloggin’ some thoughts on the values of the Open Door as we prepare to transition to a new neighborhood, a new friendship with the Union Project and a new gathering space. These values are in no particular order for any particular reason, they are just there.
Reverence: We recognize God as Creator, Savior, and Sustainer. We value God’s purposes, plans and perspectives first and foremost. Our highest priority is to give honor and glory to God in all we do. We are compelled to pray, worship, and pursue God in our daily lives and as a church community.
When we started the Open Door two years ago we said that if we stopped doing two things we should just quit. The first of those two things is revering, honoring and worshiping God. The most important thing in life is to honor God in everything we do (Col. 3:17). The first question in the Westminster Catechism asks, “What is the chief end of humanity?” The traditional answer is “to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” John Piper changes one word, “to glorify God while enjoying him forever.” He calls this Christian Hedonism. The task of bringing honor and glory to God in all we do is not some kind of Puritanical pietistic drudgery but rather it is living life in complete alignment with the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. When we seek to align and surrender our values, priorities, lifestyle, heart and mind with Gods we enjoy Him and life is experienced to the full (John10:10). The whole of life is worship unto God. Therefore we seek to revere God as we play, shop, study, pray, eat, sing, create, compete, work, study, rest, converse, run, build, and on and on. We do not see a dualism between the sacred and the secular. All of life either can be worship unto God. We either bend the knee to the Creator or something created. All people every where worship. We are inherently religious beings. So in order to help us remember that we gather together regularly to honor God through a variety of expressions. The worship gathering for us is a communal practice to remind one another that our chief goal is glorify God while enjoying him forever. Practicing reverence reminds us to engage the beauty of God and “to forget ourselves in remembering God” (NT Wright). As the PCUSA Directory of Worship states, “In worship the people of God acknowledge God present in the world and in their lives. As they respond to God’s claim and redemptive action in Jesus Christ, believers are transformed and renewed. In worship the faithful offer themselves to God and are equipped for God’s service in the world.” We regularly practice revering God as a community in order to become the sent people he longs for us to be. For true reverence, honor and worship of God always leads and propels us into mission.
next up friendship