One way to understand why we worship the way we do is that our worship is modeled on heaven. When Isaiah glimpses God high and lifted up, he sees the angels worshiping, singing, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!” Then when John sees the vision in Revelation, once again he sees the angels and the saints worshiping God singing “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty!” When God directed Israel to build the tabernacle, it was specifically meant to be a picture of Mt. Sinai. It was a portable model of God’s heavenly presence come down to earth. In other words, the priests pictured angels going up into God’s presence and bringing His glory back to the people, and they were required to be Holy, Holy, Holy. And at Mt. Sinai, we see the same basic order we follow: God calls His people, cleanses His people, speaks to His people, and finally shares a meal with His people and blesses them. And now through Jesus and His Spirit, we are ushered into heaven too. Hebrews says that we have not come to a mountain that can be touched, but we have come to the heavenly Mt. Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels. In other words, when we worship by faith in Jesus, the Spirit lifts us up into heaven. This is why we are called to worship, cleansed of our sins, instructed by God, and finally feast in His presence and go out with His blessing. This is why we join our voices to the angels, and we cry: “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!” week after week. And one of the reasons the pastors wear white robes is to remind you that we are in heaven with the angels. We are not waiting until we die to go to heaven: we are the people of God, and this means we go to heaven every week.
This is one of the reasons we confess our sins at the beginning of the service every week. When Isaiah saw the Lord, he said, ‘Woe is me, for I am undone. I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell among a people of unclean lips’.