The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. Psalm 19:1, 2 (NRSV)
The Psalmist got the memo, didn’t he? Ir’s time to worship. This “call to worship” has inspired poets and musicians throughout the years. They in turn have inspired us with their interpretation and rendition of the first part of Psalm 19. Some are well known while some are not as well known.
The call to worship
What is a call to worship? Well, it normally takes place in the setting of communal worship, led by a worship leader. In some places it’s responsive, call and answer. In others, the leader says it all. Either way, it typically comes at the beginning of the service—a summons, a reminder to focus on why you’re gathered. It’s a reminder that the worship is about God. The words of the call to worship tend to be carefully chosen with that in mind.
A prayerfully chosen and well crafted and delivered call to worship set the tone. We focus on God, who God is and we worship. We pray more clearly and more focused.
All that beauty
As I drove through the Flint Hills of Kansas, yesterday and the day before, I felt the call to worship. Yes, I was driving alone but it didn’t matter.
The Flint Hills is one of those places that will get me every time. Beautiful. As I looked ahead at the expanse of the sky the words of the first part of Psalm 19 came to me, both times, going and returning. Something really interesting happened on my return.
I changed the radio from one station to another that I didn’t even know in time to hear the announcer read the first two verses of Psalm 19. Those are the words at the beginning of this blog post. Those were the words that were in my head at that time. Seemingly random, but it wasn’t. Talk about a God moment.
In many ways, creation is a perpetual call to worship. Whether it be a clear blue sky, a sky full of ominous clouds, the green grass, the desert, the foliage of the changing seasons, it’s amazing. Stop and think about it. Stop and look at it. Can you replicate it? Wow! That’s what I say.
It calls to worship
The created order amazes you in its beauty. It also amazes in its variety. The hymn writer, John Hampden Gurney, said, “God made us all and God, is good.” That’s what God declared when God created and looked back at God’s handiwork. That’s what Christians throughout the ages have declared. When you take a look, you see something that is out of the ordinary. It leads you to consider this God who is out of the ordinary. And that’s your call to worship.
If you can appreciate creation, you will always hear God’s ongoing call to worship, for creation will fill you with awe to be directed at the Creator.
Discussion: How are hearing God’s ongoing call to worship?