For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:2)
The essence of spiritual worship is inextricably tied to the heart of the Gospel. And the heart of the Gospel, when understood, stirs up authentic worship.
Fundamental to genuine worship and the authentic gospel, is the Cross of Christ.
I was reflecting on this recently, and an exchange from years ago. A Christian musician held a concert in our town, inviting us to participate in an evening of worship. The music was done artfully, with the lyrics to each song helpfully beamed on the massive screen behind the skilled musicians. For someone who loves Christian music, it was a compelling event.
When the evening was over, I had an uneasy sense that something was missing. We had been invited as the body of Christ to engage in worship of the Triune God.
But there was not a single direct reference to the cross!
I contacted the artist to point out my observation, secretly hoping I was wrong, yearning for him to point out that the thread of the cross had been woven through the songs, and that I had simply missed it.
But that wasn’t the case.
His response: the cross had been tangentially referenced in his songs; that if you understood the lyrical direction, the death of Jesus was assumed.
But the cross was not explicit, overt, blatant, obvious.
And I think it should have been. And I believe Paul would agree.
The crucifixion of Christ dying sacrificially, but horrifically for the sins of others is of such monumental consequence that it cannot possibly be omitted from the gospel…or from worship.
When it is related accurately, the Gospel evokes worship. And when it is Spirit-led, worship reflects the Gospel.
The cross of Christ will be central to both.
Takeaway: like Paul, is my identity and purpose centred on the Christ of the cross? How so? Would those closest to me make this link?