In worship, we believe the things we do have purpose. We accept this as a mystery. With the offering, we draw near to God. During communion we eat with God. In Baptism, sins are washed away. In all of worship, we gather with the great assembly of all Christians.
These things are mysterious, but we believe they happen and we believe the things we do in worship have meaning and carry weight. It is the same with our postures in worship. We kneel during confession because we believe that our posture reflects our hearts – we come before God with a repentant heart.
For this reason also we raise our hands during the Gloria Patri. We are giving Father, Son and Holy Spirit our praise. With our hands outstretched we give him glory – our hands raised and palms open because we want him to receive it from us.
Giving is not all we do in worship though. We also receive. We do not only sing glory to Father, Son and Spirit, but blessings are also pronounced unto us in the same name of the Trinity. When we receive assurance of the forgiveness of our sins we receive a great blessing from God. Likewise, when we receive the benediction we are assured of God’s presence and grace throughout the week.
It is fitting, then, that we receive these wonderful gifts from God with open hands, not just in our hearts but with our posture. We should do this during the assurance of pardon and benediction just as we do when we give God glory in the Gloria Patri.
This is a post from Ben Copeland, a member of Holy Trinity Reformed Church. It can be seen on his own great blog here.