Posts Tagged ‘how to worship’

What is Worship

March 8, 2010

This morning’s message was on worship.  While taking notes, I made lots of my own observations–reflections on the reflection, so to speak.  Anyway, a “fleshed out” version of my total note page follows.

What is worship?  The pastor likes the definition “loving God back”.  I like that too.  How can worship even be worship without love?  How can a phone call to a parent, made out of duty and without love have any value at all?  If I’m loving God back, it explains why the scripture tells us to “lift up holy hands”.  A little child lifts up its hands to its parent, saying “pick me up”, “I want you”, “I want us to hug”.  Since we are to come to our heavenly father as little children, lifting up our hands conveys all that childlike emotion and desire.

God loved me even before I was formed.  The scripture says God watched my formation and recorded the prenatal events in his book.  How like a pregnant mother!  That is love!!  I want to love him back with my whole heart.  How can I do that?  Love requires expression for its life.  How can I express that love to God?

I can offer God my whole day.  If I think of my daily life as an offering, it changes the way I see it.  In this day of offering, I can look for “divine appointments”.  I can be on watch for things God would like to show me.  I can be primed to show gratitude and appreciation for the things, people and events all around, for which I owe God thanks.  I can ask for and watch for an opportunity to share God’s love with someone else who needs that encouragement.  I can also watch for opportunities to serve God’s kingdom in some way.  I can be aware of the need to be loved–my own and that of others.  Everyone wants love and everyone wants to belong to something wonderful and bigger than themselves.  Everyone actually wants Jesus, although they can argue they don’t.  They aren’t being honest about what is keeping them from Him.  Jesus always demands that honesty, and will go right to the heart of that issue if we aren’t too busy pushing Him away.  When he probes us, sharp though it is, He always touches us with His tenderness.

Jesus said God wants worship in Spirit and Truth.  We worship in truth when we use our intellect.  It is based in growing knowledge of God and His ways.  Worship in spirit is emotional and is based on growing love and appreciation of God.  The “AHA” moments of discovery involve worship in truth.  The misty eyes and lump in the throat involve worship in Spirit.  We can’t have one without the other.   Spirit without truth results in emotional excess (there is such a thing), and  Truth without spirit results in dead intellectualism.  (I think its the reason theological schools can produce agnostics). 

Its not up to us to figure out how to worship God.  It is responding to God who moves first.  We worship as God instructs us both in the scripture and by His Spirit.  Its our spirit connecting to God’s Spirit.

Why do people find church boring ?  They don’t come expecting to meet God there.  They come for a bundle of other reasons, but don’t come to show their love to the God they already know and appreciate.  Worship is never about us, never for what we receive, and God forbid not about our entertainment.  Its about God’s Spirit touching our spirit, and when that happens, the worship style is irrelevant.  We can be touched in formal “high church” as well as a noisy “rock church”.  All that matters is coming into God’s presence, letting ourselves be open to God and grateful to Him, and the fruit of that is more love.  Its the love that the world will see on Monday.  If not, something was missing on Sunday.

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