Jesus is My Worship Leader

I teach a class at Colorado Christian University titled “Leadership and Administration in Worship Arts.” The class includes readings by current worship pastors and theologians. While the topics have been rich, engaging, and inspiring – what wonderful truth that we were made to worship God and enjoy him forever! – the writers of these articles often use language like “pure worship” and “authentic worship.” They include exhortations to “do better” – read your bible more, worship more with your family, practice private worship before public worship, and the list of tasks continues.

These are all wonderful things! It’s tough to argue with the practice of any of them. But a question lurks in the background – a question perhaps in the mind of many Christians. When it comes to a life of worship, what is enough? Am I pure and authentic when my mind wanders after a just a minute of prayer or Scripture reading? Is my praise acceptable when I am in a terrible mood, or when I am filled with self-centeredness?

In the book Worship, Community, and the Triune God of Grace, Scottish theologian James B. Torrance gives relief to this angst. And the answer is Jesus. In the Old Testament, priests were mediators between God and humanity, but now, as described in the book of Hebrews, Jesus is our true High Priest, a High Priest who is in solidarity with us and intercedes for us. As Torrance writes, “there is only one Mediator between God and humanity. There is only one offering which is truly acceptable to God, and it is not ours” (pg 21). That is good news! Additionally, “Christ takes what is ours (our broken lives and unworthy prayers), sanctifies them, and offers them without spot or wrinkle to the Father” (pg 15). The triune God is not a passive audience evaluating us as we struggle to worship. He is with us. As you worship throughout the week and when we come together in our community of worship, I hope you are filled with this assurance. The living Christ is in our midst. He is leading and sanctifying our worship, our prayers and our praise.

Jill Schroeder-Dorn, Director of Worship Arts

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