By THE REV. LOU TISCIONE
The definition of praise is to declare the works and character of God. But my purpose in this article is not about defining praise. It is when personal investment in a church and praise are connected.
First, examine how the object of praise, God, has revealed Himself. Isaiah 6:1: “In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord (Adoni) sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.”
The one whom Isaiah saw was full of majesty. He was declared to be “holy, holy, holy” by the Seraphim. He revealed Himself to be totally self-sufficient. He doesn’t need anything from His creatures. He commands all creation to worship and praise Him.
Isaiah saw the Lord. The English transliteration of the Hebrew word is Adoni which means Master. He saw the sovereign master of all Creation. It matters not what you may or may not believe. God, the Lord is the Master of everything and everyone. That includes me and you!
God has revealed who He is. The word He chose to reveal His sovereign majesty is Lord. In other words, God has revealed Himself as the only object of praise and worship. He is the God of sovereign majesty.
Having just experienced the joy of celebrating the Incarnation with my church family and church visitors, I started to think about the blessing of being part of a church.
When someone decides to become a member of our church, he or she is required to fill out our membership application. Our application for membership has three parts. The first concerns personal background information. The second is focused on one’s conversion story. The third is called the Five Covenantal Questions.
The first three Covenantal questions refer to one’s repentance, faith and trust in Jesus Christ as He is offered in the gospel. The final two concern commitments a member makes to our church. One makes a commitment to submit to the discipline and government of our church and to pray for the peace and purity of our congregation.