Tuesday, April 23 2024 - 9:32 AM

Sharing Scripture — March 23, 2024

Worship That Never Ends

 

For use: March 17 – 23, 2024
Texts: Psalm 15; 96; 101:1-3; 134; Isaiah 42:10-12; Revelation 14:3, 6-12; John 4:23-24

If you’ve ever driven a group of kids on any road trip—your family, church youth group, school class, or club— you’ve more than likely been subjected to “The Song That Doesn’t End”:

This is the song that doesn’t end
Yes, it goes on and on, my friend
Some people started singing it not knowing what it was,
And they′ll continue singing it forever just because….
(Repeat about 1000 times)

We can thank children’s entertainer and puppeteer Shari Lewis for that happy little earworm. Bernard Rothman, Lewis’ producer, wrote the song, and she popularized it in her 1988 Lamb Chop’s Sing-Along album and video.

Of course, kids being kids, there are some variations to the lyrics that have developed through the years— “This is the song that killed my friends” is one of the more popular iterations. Somewhere along the line, someone came up with the idea to sing “doesn’t end doesn’t end doesn’t end” like a record skipping (remember vinyl records?) as a way to end the song.

When Lewis developed the PBS show Lamb Chop’s Play-Along, she used the song as the closing theme. She would attempt to end the song while the kids and puppets powered ahead with it. Once she shoed them all off the stage, the puppet Charlie Horse jumped back in to restart the song. Shari covered his mouth, ordering him to “go away.” Then while she told him “And don’t slam the…” he slammed the door on his way out.

Even the most innocent and joyful things in this life can become irritating when we’re overdosed on them. That’s why we have a challenge grasping that there are things in eternity that we’ll never tire of. In fact, Revelation 4:8 describes a group of heavenly creatures who continually repeat the refrain “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” As lovely and true as that statement is, if someone did that here on Earth, we’d have them committed. And yet, in heaven we never tire of that constant chorus.

The psalmists describe worship that never ends. As much as we can enjoy our worship experiences with God’s people every Sabbath, we eventually must return to our homes and get on with everyday life. We can, however, carry an attitude of worship with us no matter what we’re doing. That’s why the psalmist can truly say “I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live” (Psalm 104:33). Every aspect of human life can be an act of worship when God is foremost in our thoughts.

And someday in the kingdom, we may be privileged to continually sing a song of praise that doesn’t end.

 

For Reflection

 

Connecting: What is one aspect of corporate worship that you never tire of? Do you ever leave your worship experience with a praise-song earworm? Is that a good thing for you?

Sharing: Psalm 134 instructs us to “Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord.” Doesn’t that encourage irreverence during the worship service?

  1. No—we can lift up our hands reverently
  2. Well, yes—Isaiah, Daniel, and John the Revelator all bowed low in the presence of heavenly beings, and we should also when we come into God’s presence
  3. It’s biblical, so how can it be irreverent?
  4. The danger is in what it can lead to—swaying, clapping, etc.
  5. Our worship expressions are as varied as our different human personalities. We shouldn’t judge or restrict how others may choose to worship, even if those practices differ from what we are personally comfortable with
  6. Other:

Applying: Sabbath is sometimes described as a taste of heaven on Earth. Do you ever see anything happening in your corporate worship that hinders that taste of heaven? How can you, as a group, help others in your congregation have the best Sabbath experience possible?

Valuing: It’s easy to say that we can carry a worshipful attitude in all of our daily experiences, but it’s much harder to achieve that in actual practice. What helps you to keep that worshipful experience alive in your life? What kills it for you? How can you intentionally develop that continual worship experience that doesn’t end?

~ Chuck Burkeen


New Release:

As One Who Serves

 

Our newest resource, As One Who Serves: Perspectives on Adventist Mission & Ministry to Members, Families, and Communities is now available!

Much has been written about how the ministries of the Seventh-day Adventist Church can be more effective. There is a continued need for new approaches to ministry, guided by new and rigorous research. This volume honors the contributions of Monte Sahlin, who has dedicated his career to ministry and research spanning more than fifty years. The research, tributes, and other information presented in this book were each submitted by those who worked closely with Monte Sahlin during his career or were strongly influenced by his research, his many books, articles, presentations and blog posts and focuses on areas where Monte Sahlin has made significant related contributions:

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This book is organized around important topics offering new and important insights for those in ministry within the Seventh-day Adventist Church, highlighting recent research and inspiring continued scholarship.

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