Saturday, August 7, 2010

Worship among the First Christians

T. M. Moore
Saturday August 7, 2010

What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. -1 Corinthians 14:26

The Teaching of the Twelve
Anonymous (late first or early second century)

“Thou, Almighty Lord, didst create all things for thy name’s sake, and gavest meat and drink for men to enjoy, that they might give thanks unto thee, and to us didst vouchsafe spiritual meat and drink and life eternal, through thy son. Above all we thank thee because thou art mighty. Glory be to thee forever. Remember, Lord, thy Church, to deliver her from all evil, and to perfect her in thy love, and gather together from the four winds her that is sanctified into thy kingdom which thou didst prepare for her. For thine is the power and the glory for ever. Let grace come, and let this world pass away.”

In this template prayer the writer of The Didache continues to reveal something of the soul of early Christian worship. See the emphasis, again, on the oneness of the Body of Christ, as well as on growing in the Lord through Jesus Christ, being purified from wickedness and worldliness, and being about the business of mission. This is how God is glorified through His Church, and it is appropriate to drape our prayers in worship around such themes.

What kind of templates guide the prayers offered in your church’s worship? Do they reflect the kind of emphasis we see in the first Christians?

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