Christianity > How can I communicate with God?

One summer, while I was in Spain with some friends, we stumbled upon a fireworks show. Although the fireworks were small and unimpressive at first, they became awesome and magnificent as the show progressed. In response to one particularly amazing explosion, we instinctively proclaimed in unison, "Wow!", as hands came together in applause and heads turned to ask in excitement, "Did you see that?!"
\n
\nThis was worship - an automatic response of the heart to the reality of seeing and enjoying the value of something wonderful and surprising and amazing.
\n
\nWorship is both an inner reality, and an outward expression. Worship is not complete unless expressed.
\n
\nSimilarly, Christian worship is fundamentally an affair of the heart, not an event. All of the rituals that we have created (e.g., sermons, catechisms, songs) are merely outward forms intended to express inward realities. They are the applause and exclamations at the fireworks display, not the inward enjoyment of its beauty. That inward feeling is the essence of worship and, without it, outward expressions are vain and hypocritical.
\n
\nEven Jesus rejected the idea of worship as an event and embraced it as a changed and moved heart. When a Samaritan woman asked Him about where to worship, He told her to be more concerned about how to worship: "[A] time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem ... Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth."
\n
\nThe inner reality of worship is cherishing Christ.
\n
\nWorship is important because it is our highest calling. Human beings were made to worship God - to see His beauty and worth and value and, in response, to applaud and exclaim it. Since He is the most beautiful and worthy and valuable thing that we could ever know, the heart that worships God is one that counts Christ as gain above all else.
\n
\nThis means that all of life is worship because all of life is an external demonstration of what we value. How we spend our money, how we speak to others, how we treat the poor and marginalized, how we live and how we die - all of these are expressions of our inward hearts. There is a holiness of life that demonstrates how we value the worth of God in our spirits and hearts. This is true and proper worship.

Worship: Why do Christians worship?

By BL Jenkins

One summer, while I was in Spain with some friends, we stumbled upon a fireworks show. Although the fireworks were small and unimpressive at first, they became awesome and magnificent as the show progressed. In response to one particularly amazing explosion, we instinctively proclaimed in unison, "Wow!", as hands came together in applause and heads turned to ask in excitement, "Did you see that?!"
\n
\nThis was worship - an automatic response of the heart to the reality of seeing and enjoying the value of something wonderful and surprising and amazing.
\n
\nWorship is both an inner reality, and an outward expression. Worship is not complete unless expressed.
\n
\nSimilarly, Christian worship is fundamentally an affair of the heart, not an event. All of the rituals that we have created (e.g., sermons, catechisms, songs) are merely outward forms intended to express inward realities. They are the applause and exclamations at the fireworks display, not the inward enjoyment of its beauty. That inward feeling is the essence of worship and, without it, outward expressions are vain and hypocritical.
\n
\nEven Jesus rejected the idea of worship as an event and embraced it as a changed and moved heart. When a Samaritan woman asked Him about where to worship, He told her to be more concerned about how to worship: "[A] time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem ... Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth."
\n
\nThe inner reality of worship is cherishing Christ.
\n
\nWorship is important because it is our highest calling. Human beings were made to worship God - to see His beauty and worth and value and, in response, to applaud and exclaim it. Since He is the most beautiful and worthy and valuable thing that we could ever know, the heart that worships God is one that counts Christ as gain above all else.
\n
\nThis means that all of life is worship because all of life is an external demonstration of what we value. How we spend our money, how we speak to others, how we treat the poor and marginalized, how we live and how we die - all of these are expressions of our inward hearts. There is a holiness of life that demonstrates how we value the worth of God in our spirits and hearts. This is true and proper worship.

DOWNLOAD PDF

About Dr. Timothy Keller


Timothy Keller was born and raised in Pennsylvania and educated at Bucknell University, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Westminster Theological Seminary. He was first a pastor in Hopewell, Virginia. In 1989 he started Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan with his wife, Kathy and their three sons. Today, Redeemer has more than five thousand regular Sunday attendees and has helped to start nearly two hundred new churches around the world. Also, the author of Generous Justice, Counterfeit Gods, The Prodigal God, and the New York Times bestseller, The Reason for God, he lives in New York City with his family.

About Rev. David Bisgrove


David Bisgrove has lived in New York City since 1988, the year he received his MBA and MPH from Columbia University. After working nine years in Healthcare Administration and Finance, David joined the Redeemer staff as Director of Finance and Operations in 1999. He was ordained in 2004 and now oversees the areas of Prayer, Evangelism, Worship, Stewardship, and Family Ministry. He lives on the Upper West Side with his wife Alice and their two daughters Mary Claire and Charlotte.

About BL Jenkins


BL Jenkins is the President and Founder of The Park Forum, a nonprofit that creates curriculum to help urban professionals read the Bible daily. Prior to founding The Park Forum, BL worked at the New York Stock Exchange, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. House of Representatives. BL received her JD from Columbia Law School, her MA from The George Washington University, and her BA from Baylor University. She enjoys running in Central Park and makes her home on the Upper West Side.

About Jason Garber


Jason Garber never set foot in a church service until September 2008 when he walked into Redeemer and was shocked to find that there were people in 21st century Manhattan that actually worshiped Jesus. Intrigued by this odd phenomena, Jason hung around Redeemer in order to observe this strange counterculture. Due to God's irresistible grace (and the free cookies after the service), Jason fell in love with the beauty of the Gospel and placed his trust in Jesus Christ as his Savior.

About Dr. Tuck Bartholomew


Tuck Bartholomew is the organizing pastor of City Church. Tuck holds a PhD in Sociology. Prior to coming to Philadelphia he served on the pastoral staff of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City.



About Us

Redeemer Presbyterian Church is a community committed to, among other things, engaging in respectful dialogue with those who are curious about the historic Christian faith. We recognize that there are many people in our community who aren't sure what they believe about Jesus and his claims as they are found in the Bible. Therefore we have created this site to help individuals process their doubts and questions. We seek to do that through individual's stories, talks you can listen to, and papers you can read.

The site is designed in a way that we hope helps you in your particular journey, allowing you the freedom to explore the particular questions you may have. On the home page you'll find videos that feature questions and perspectives of both Christians and non-Christians. Those videos take you to one of three main areas of interest: 1) Common Questions, 2) Jesus and 3) Christianity. In each of the three sections you will find papers to read, talks to listen to and other videos to watch. If you wish, you can return to the home page at any time from any of these sections.

We are grateful for your interest in Jesus and his community and trust that this resource will help you discover more fully what it means to know Jesus and to be part of his family.

Contact Us

Email us at discover@redeemer.com