It all started when my wife slipped in the kitchen and asked me “hey, did you see that I started storing our raisins and pretzels in glass jars?” My response was forgettable at best, not really thinking much of the switch from the packages they were bought in to moving them over to glass containers. That is, I didn’t think much of it until I made myself raisin bran this morning and was in need of those raisin! I went twisted the lid off, reached for some raisins and thought to myself “it is kinda nice that these are in this jar.”
I have really come to appreciate and love the way my wife organizes things around the house. It hasn’t always been like this, I never used to understand why she needed to buy so many baskets, small ones big ones you name it. But the baskets are nice, turns out it is much better for random things around the house to have a home than not. When you start having kids it is nice to have a basket for all their bath toys, otherwise your showering with them at your feet! And door hooks, have you ever walked over your bath towels? Not pleasant.
Like the home the church is also tugging us towards some order. Sadly, I have walked into some churches who’s condition is like a college dorm room. Nothing has its place, the clutter and mess make things very confusing. A clear order of service can really help people worship God. The church is to know the what and why of her service. This should be common sense, if we don’t know what were doing why are we trying to do it?
We see all throughout Scripture that God values order. We see an order in creation. After the fall of man we see God give order in regards to the sacrificial system/Leviticul priesthood. Order has and always will come from God alone. Therefore the Word of God is where we seek guidance in regards to the order of things. As Mark Dever said “Everything we do in an order of service should be justified according to Scripture.” Scripture then holds together the structure of the service.
With this in mind, what is church supposed to look like. Simply put the church is to be about God. We want to pray prayers to God in church (Psalm 95), confess our sins to God, sing songs about God (Colossians 3:16), read the Scriptures (1 Timothy 4:13), hear the Word preached for the glory of God (2 Timothy 4:2), celebrate baptism (Matt 28:19-20), participate in the Lord’s Table in light of all God has done. (1 Corinthians 11)
Each element of the service is given by God to feed His people. It benefits us greatly to be people devoted to prayer and confession, we can only exalt Jesus properly when we are in our proper place. From confession to song is a great transition, since Christ has dealt with our sin it is only proper to celebrate that fact with singing! To hear a word from the pulpit is crucially important. It does the work of forming a people for God as the Spirit moves in the hearts of people when the Word is faithfully preached. To see God in the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Table is to participate in the wonders and beauties of the gospel. Church is a beautiful place when all it’s elements are set in accordance with the Scriptures, when God is the director and we are the choir, when He is the captain and we are the crew.