Cuthbert United Methodist Church
Saturday, March 17, 2018


There are so many Biblical examples of believers standing in worship, the better question might be, “Why don’t we stand more?”   At Cuthbert, we stand often, and it is not just to have a break from sitting!  Our standing has great significance and tradition.   
1. Unity -  When we stand together, we “stand together.”  We show with our bodies that we are collectively affirming what is being said; for example, rising to recite a Creed or sing praises.
2. Respect – In Nehemiah, when Ezra rises to read the recovered Book of the Law to the people, it says, “as he opened it, all the people stood.”  And they stood for HOURS!  Though we’ve gotten a bit lazy on standing for all scripture reading, we do rise for the Gospel reading, Jesus Christ’s words and story, which we honor as our primary authority.  
3. Recognizing God’s presence – As  we stand for our Call to Worship, we are similar to the people in Exodus, who would all rise and bow down whenever the cloudy pillar appeared at the entrance to the tent where Moses met the Lord.  We stand to show respect for God’s presence among the gathered Body of Christ.
4. Signifying our Salvation  – The Psalmist asks, “Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD?  And who shall stand in his holy place?  Those who have clean hands and pure hearts…” (Ps. 24: 3-4a)  We are made clean and worthy because of salvation through Christ.
5. Preparing to March – Jesus’ healing words were often simply, “Stand up and walk!”   Although at the beginning of worship, we may have been battle-worn and in need of healing, after an hour of worship,  Jesus says to us, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."  Our Sending Forth gives us marching orders and a blessing,  and we follow the Light of Christ into the world to serve.  
Final note: It’s difficult to impossible for some to continually stand up, but we can all “rise as we are able”!  Whether we actually rise to our feet , or straighten up and sit at attention, our rising is an intentional expression of worship.