Our Worship Liturgy

"Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary." - Psalm 96:6

Because God made us for His glory (Isaiah 43:7), He calls us out of the kingdom of darkness into His glorious light to proclaim His praises (1 Peter 2:9).  He reveals to us in His Word, the Bible, how He desires to be worshiped.  Therefore, worship is our highest priority.

On the one hand, worship encompasses all that we are and all that we do.  God says that His people are to “present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable worship” (Romans 12:1).  The Apostle Paul drives this perspective on worship home when he says, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).  Everything is to be done for the glory of God.  So, in one sense all of life is worship.

On the other hand, worship, in Scripture, often refers to a corporate giving of praise to God and receiving of grace from God.  Psalm 95:6 calls us to this corporate worship saying, “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!”  Worship is for the glory of God.  God is glorified in the offerings of praise that we bring, and in the enjoyment we have in receiving from Him.  Only when our worship is God-centered are human hearts fully blessed. These truths inform our corporate worship at Cross Creek PCA.

Preparation for worship helps us to frame our hearts and minds to approach God with reverence and celebration.  God is holy, holy, holy (Isaiah 6:3).  Therefore, we want to humble ourselves and confess our sins as we present ourselves in worship.  We want to hear God’s pardoning voice to cheer our hearts and make us bold to approach His throne through the new and living way He opened for us through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 10:20).

The invocation is our calling upon God to graciously visit us.  We feel our inadequacy to offer Him the worship that is due unto Him, so we seek His grace to fill us with the Holy Spirit and instruct us in His Word, so that our worship may be in Spirit and in Truth.

The call to worship is given from the Word of God to remind us that it is God, and no man, who calls us to worship.  We come by the effective power of His call.

Music is an important part of Christian worship.  God’s Word instructs us to address one another “in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart” (Ephesians 5:19; cf. Colossians 3:16).  Our songs are both directed toward God in prayer and praise and toward each other to stir each other up to love and good works, for the glory of God (Hebrews 10:24).  We want to engage head and heart in the songs we sing, emphasizing the glorious attributes and mighty works of God in creation, providence, and redemption.  While most of our music is sung by the congregation, accompanied by instrumentalists, we are also ministered to by a choir and soloists.  The purpose is never to entertain, but always to worship God and edify the church.

Scripture readings
 are central to worship as we understand worship as a conversation between God and His people.  As the Old and New Testament texts are read, we are stirred by the voice of our Shepherd to follow hard after Him.  The Scripture readings are deliberately related to the songs that we sing so that this conversational aspect of worship is better realized.

Confessing the faith in corporate readings is another important element of our worship.  Using the great creeds of Christendom and our own confessional standards as a PCA congregation (Westminster Confession, Larger and Shorter Catechisms), we joyously join our voices to proclaim the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).

The Pastoral Prayer brings us again to fall on our faces before God in adoration and thanksgiving.  God calls us to cast all of our cares upon Him, knowing that He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).  One of our pastors gives voice to the cries of our hearts and seeks God’s favor for His people.

Tithes and offerings allow us to joyfully return to God what He has entrusted to us as His stewards.  Here we acknowledge that we are not our own, for we were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20-21).  All that we are and all that we have belongs to God.  It is our delight to invest in the advance of His gospel.  We want our giving to be like that which Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 8.5: “they gave themselves first to the Lord.”

Preaching is an essential element of worship, as it is the proclamation of God’s Word.