Corporate Worship & Return to “Open Time”

On 30 Oct, we were blessed and encouraged through the exhortation of God’s Word by Pastor Ivan Chow. He gave a timely reminder on the need to return to physical church, to worship together and to encourage one another, and be encouraged by the Body of Christ.

At each Sunday worship service, we are reminded by Scripture of the glorious fact that Jesus died for the church (Acts 20; Ephesians 5). As we all belong to the church, which is Jesus’ body, we need to be enjoined with the rest. Corporate worship on Sundays is a good expression of this privilege.

Hebrews 10:24-25 is an exhortation to believers. Pastor Ivan Chow mentioned that our hearts are constantly under attack by the sins of life. So, meeting together will help us to be accountable to one another. The Christian life is never meant to be solitary. Many metaphors in the Bible point to plurality, never a singularity: we are a body, a flock, a building and a holy nation.

Fellowship and mutual encouragement are blessings that are peculiar to the Christian faith. We are called to be spiritual stones that are to be built upon the cornerstone, which is Christ himself. The pattern of the early church that we studied in Acts 2 and Hebrews 10 shows us the key to handle the perils of our sinful hearts. We all need to encourage and be encouraged. Without  participation in corporate worship, we tend to drift from God.

Another great benefit of Sunday worship is for everyone to hear the public preaching of the Word of God and for believers to participate in Open Worship or “Open Time” as some call it. We look forward to early 2023 when this will be part of our English Worship Service at 8.00am.

The book of Leviticus taught the people of Israel on the need of a priesthood. It was then restricted to Aaron and his family. But now in Christianity, all is changed because of the atoning work of Christ. The Lord Jesus is our Great High Priest. We are a royal priesthood which means that we are given the privilege to go to God directly with boldness as Christ has entered for us into the holiest of all.

Let’s get ready for “Open Time” next year! May we all earnestly take up the responsibility of preparing to offer a sacrifice of praise, confession and thanksgiving to God as well as exhorting and encouraging one another (Hebrews 13).

Corporate worship is a glimpse of heaven. Let’s cherish the precious hour of worship on every Sunday!

Andrew Lim