The Shape of the Liturgy Theologian Simon Chan notes that throughout the history of the church, the basic shape of Christian liturgy has been relatively consistent. “Word and sacrament are set within the act of gathering and the act of returning, thus giving rise to a fourfold structure.” Coram Deo’s weekly worship gathering follows this […]
Reason #4: Liturgy is Missional
…The word liturgy comes from a Greek term that means “a public service.” Liturgy is designed to make Christian worship public – that is, accessible to outsiders! When it is properly explained and warmly engaged, liturgy creates an accessible “flow” that beckons outsiders in. Like a table of contents or a map, it makes unfamiliar territory familiar.
Reason #3: Liturgy is Formative
…Our cultural institutions – education, media, corporations, government – have a liturgical motive. They want to shape us. They want to inculcate into us a certain “vision of the good life.” They want to make us into a certain kind of people – people who buy their products or are loyal to their cause or embrace their ideals. The liturgy of Christian worship is a subversive counter-measure against the shaping influence of culture. By using liturgy in worship, we are seeking to re-form or re-shape people according to the gospel. Rather than being defined by the world, we want them to take on the values of the kingdom of God.
Reason #2: Liturgy is Historical
…Evangelicalism has produced a generation of Christians who have a vague sense that corporate worship is important, but have no idea why, or what (if any) form it should take, or whether there is even a biblical pattern for how the church should approach its Lord. They also lack a sense of history. They have little regard for the continuity of “the faith once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 1:3) throughout generations and centuries.
Visitors to Coram Deo’s worship gathering will immediately recognize the use of liturgy in our worship. We follow a definite pattern every week. We employ scripted confessions, creeds, prayers, and professions of faith to structure to our worship. The question is: why? This series of posts seeks to answer that question for those new to this type of worship and also for those called to lead it.
Reason #1: Liturgy is Biblical