Waynedale United Methodist Church
Wednesday, June 03, 2020
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!

May 6, 2018 Sermon

“Worship Leaders”
Exodus 28:1 – 14, 29:1 – 9
Ted Jansen May 6, 2018 Waynedale UMC
1.)        We read in Exodus how God designed worship to include priests. They were from the Tribe of Levites who were chosen to oversee the needs of the tabernacle. The priests were involved in fulfilling the sacrifices that God commanded and the High Priest represented people before God. We also know that the High Priest was required to go into the Holy of Holies, the inner sanctuary, once a year to make atonement for all the sins of the people, among their special duties. (Leviticus 17:29 – 34)   They had other duties as well but from the Rose Guide to the Tabernacle there were three main purposes for the priests.       
2.)        a.)        The priest represented the people to God.  
                        This is seen in the sacrificial system. God needed people to offer the sacrifices for the people before a Holy God.   The instructions of the sacrifices that God gave to Moses had to be followed. The priest represented the people and their lives before a Holy God. 
            *As we pray for one another we function like priests in this role. We bring the lives of others before God. We represent people to God. 
           b.)        The priest represented God to the people
                        This involved blessing the people, teaching the people, preaching to the people. The Israelites needed God to guide them; they needed blessing. They needed exhortation or re-direction when they were straying. The priest had this role.            
            *When we come to worship or get into a group we open our lives to the teaching of God. The priest, teacher, pastor takes on the role of offering insights and truth from scripture to the people. You serve as a priest as you seek to teach and guide others. 
            c.)        The priests guarded the sanctuary for God.  
                        This involved making sure the sanctuary was a safe, pure and holy place for God and for the people. The sanctuary had to be handled the right way and if not this caused problems.    
            *When we worship God desires us to set aside this time as holy and special. When we sing, read, preach, pray, it is my hope that we know the presence of God in our hearts and souls. 
3.)        As we think of these three roles we understand from Exodus 28: 1 – 14 that the priests had special clothes to wear. The clothes had various elements; turban, ephod, breastplate and stones on the shoulder. Look at one artist’s rendering of a High Priest and their clothing. (Insert)
As we look and understand God’s Design be thinking of God’s desire.         
4.)        One part of the High Priests clothing was a turban that said, “Holy to the Lord.” This was on the head of the priests. 
Another part was the breastplate and stones on the shoulders.   I believe there was a weight to the actual stones. This added to the awareness of the role as priest. This might have a similar feel to a police officer who wears a bullet proof vest. They are aware of their role in the clothing that they have on. 
The stones symbolized the 12 tribes of Israel. They remembered the people and their connection to the tribes. They brought the people before God.       
The stones were precious and this symbolized the value of each tribe, of each person; to God. Each person was of great value to the priest and to God and the stones of the breastplate symbolized that. When you look at a wedding ring on your hand you think of its value and the person it represents. This is the same way the priest was to view the stones.  
5.)        What is God’s desire as it relates to worship today? How does what we wear have any significance in our worship experience? Instead of thinking of what we are physically wearing I invite us to consider what we are spiritually wearing. 
            When we worship God do we put on something that reminds us of a Holy God, our need for praying for others, our desire to listen and bow our hearts?  
            Here is an insight into Jesus Christ and our faith as we think of the High Priest and what they wore and how they functioned.             
6.)        Hebrews 4:14 – 16, says, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
            Jesus is the High Priest who represents God to us and brings our lives to God. Jesus wants our worship to be holy and special. We can have confidence when we worship because of Christ.   
7.)        Then we read 2 Peter 2:9. “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
                 This scripture says that believers in Jesus Christ are all priests, a part of a holy nation, a people belonging to God. Priests declare the praise of God for His light, His love, His grace.   What are you doing today as a priest to help others worship?   
8.)        When people are searching for God what kind of person, or “priest,” or go-between are people looking for? What do people look for in a pastor, a prophet, a spiritual leader in the church?       
            Are you looking for an authority type of figure, a Godly King? Are you looking for an intercessor, a Person of Prayer who will bring your life before God?   Are you looking for someone who can speak a word of God?         
            Are you looking for a pastor, priest, to be clothed a certain way? Do you need them to have a heart of prayer, humility, love, service, integrity, honesty?  
9.)        We are going to celebrate Communion. The bread and juice are a symbol of the body and blood of Christ. We prepare our hearts by coming with humility before a Holy God and repenting of our sin. We come thankful that we can know that we are loved. We have scripture and a voice that tells us that. Listen to this prayer to help us prepare. 
            God of the Universe. You who are holy and almighty.   I come before you holding in my heart the life of each person here today. I lift them up before you and their needs, their desires and their brokenness. Be a God of grace, healing, hope, forgiveness to them.   
            People of faith may you be blessed.   You are precious and valuable to God. God gave to you His one and only son, the Word of God, and the Spirit of God. Let your heart be open.   
Invitation to the Table                                             
            Christ our Lord invites each of us you to come to His table. Come all who love him, who repent of their sin and seek to live in peace with one another. 
Confession and Pardon
We offer our repentant hearts to you, our God as we confess that we have sinned against you, against one another, and against the world. We have ignored the needs of others. We have failed to love you and our neighbors as we have loved ourselves.
Forgive us, we pray. May we know the truth from scripture that says “If we confess our sin, God is faithful and just and cleanses us from all unrighteousness.” 
The Great Thanksgiving
            We offer you Holy God, Almighty One, our praise, our thanks. You are the everlasting God, boundless in love and power. We stand in awe in the light of your glory!   
            Jesus Christ, who comes in God's name, is worthy! Lamb of God for all creation you were slain and you are worthy! Hosanna to our King! Hosanna to our King!
On the night when you were betrayed you took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to your disciples. You said, "This is my body broken for you. Remember me." We remember.
Before you were deserted by all of your disciples you took the cup, praised God and shared it. You said, "This is my blood of the new covenant for you. Remember me." We remember.   
Come upon us, Holy Spirit. Come upon this bread and juice. Make them, transform them so that they will be for us Christ's body, Christ's blood. 
All blessing and glory, thanksgiving and power, wisdom and honor and might, be yours, Holy God, now and forever. Amen!
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