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Why we worship passionately

posted 08.03.2015

7/8th Mar’15: Vicar writes

“This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

Earlier this week, the SJC Staff (English) had a Staff Retreat on Sentosa. This Retreat focused on team dynamics, team building and reflecting on the events over the years, in view of the upcoming clergy changes. During the day, we played team-building games. We had some sharing sessions where we reflected on some values and principles which have characterized the ministry and life here in SJC. We meditated on 1 Corinthians 3, Psalm 127 (Unless the Lord builds…) and Phillipians 2:1-5. We also broke bread, worshipped and prayed together.

This will of course be my last Staff Retreat at SJC and I will remember this, and those before, each pivotal and memorable as the staff grows together. In spite of the coming changes, we have a deep peace that all that the Lord has set in our hearts to be and do will continue, and more. The SJC community needs to be led and modeled by the community that the staff is and we are conscious of that. We are praying that those who visit us or intern with us for a while, can see the Lord in the midst of us.

I hope to use this space in the next few months to share more deeply about the life in SJC and what I sense has worked well for SJC.

One thing which we have always wanted to seek after is a sense of the Lord’s presence in our midst.  Some of the things we do in our service is more than just about taste of music or trying to connect with the younger crowd. We do want to be a Church where His presence is felt.  While we need not be emotional, we want to learn to love God with our whole being. Therefore the songs we use call for that. It is  
difficult to sing them and be passive as these songs speak about spiritual intimacy, spiritual experience and devotion. In fact, just read the Psalms and you will be able to sense this. Even the hymns can carry these expressions when we sing them with our whole heart.

In the same line, we also want to be a praying church. We pray for each other at the end of the Service (“altar call”), we believe in the working presence and gifts of the Spirit and we run the monthly Church prayer meetings and the biannual 24/7 or 11/7 Prayer Movement.

But having passion in church services and events do not necessarily lead to passion in the way we live our faith on a daily basis. It can at best inspire, inform and remind. If you raise your hands to worship but do not use them to serve during other days, you will have missed the point. If you sing these songs or feel this way only on Sunday, you are fast becoming a “cultural Christian.”

We need to have a passion for God and His presence in church and in our homes everyday.