What is worship? The 1828 Dictionary defines it this way.
"Chiefly and eminently, the act of paying divine honors to the Supreme Being; or the reverence and homage paid to him in religious exercises, consisting in adoration, confession, prayer, thanksgiving and the like.
The worship of God is an eminent part of religion."
Worship. I sure have been thinking a lot about worship lately. I have a little worship story to tell you, but first . . . the news!
Remember "The Five W's"? Actually, I guess it's the five W's , , , and one H. Who, what, when, where, why and how. The five W's and the one H are the basic questions that need to be answered in any good news story. I learned that way back in high school. Creative Writing class with Miss Ziglin. She was a good teacher. So, class, let's get started with our assignment.
WHO - Who do we worship? Well, here in the State of Wisconsin, most of us worship the Green Bay Packers. We worship Aaron Rodgers and Vince Lombaradi. We used to worship Brett Favre but we got over that.
Seriously though, we humans are here to worship God. There is no one like Him in all the universe. He is our King. He is our Savior. He is the Lord of all. We worship Him and Him alone.
Some people worship idols (like the Packers, or money, or themselves). We Christians, however, belong to Jesus.
WHAT - We are supposed to WORSHIP God. That is why we were created. Like the Chris Tomlin song says, "You and I were made to worship." God created us for several reasons but number one on that list is worship.
Another "what" that is somewhat related to this category is our purpose. Each of us was created with a gift or two
"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." - Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
We were knit together in our mother's womb. God knew us before were even born! We were created in God's image to worship and serve God.
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." - Psalm 139:13 (NIV)
WHEN - Most people think of worship as something we do on a Sunday morning. Sunday morning worship is good, but worship is something we should do every minute of every day. We worship God when we are talking to our friends about him at work or at school. We are worshipping God when we are tucking our kids into bed at night after they have said their prayers. We are worshipping God when we pray before a meal or in the early morning hours with a friend. We are even worshipping God when we confess our sins to Him. We should be worshipping 24/7/365. And one day . . . we will be. :)
WHERE - Umm, we should be worshipping God everywhere!
For example, I have not been feeling quite right in worship on Sunday mornings as of late - the subject of a different blog post perhaps. But I got to thinking and that I should be feeling at my best when I am worshipping God and that I should not be distracted by "other things." So a few weeks ago I did something different. I went for a walk.
I live right next to Hartman Creek State Park. By foot, it takes me about 10 minutes to get onto one of its hiking trails, following a deer trail through the woods. I found a fallen tree, sat down and read from the Book of Job. That was nice. I prayed and listened to some worship music on my iPod. That was good. As one of my Facebook friends put it, "There is no finer cathedral than God's creation." So true.
After "church," on my way back home, I looked down on the path beneath my feet an saw a nice piece of worn granite. As soon as I saw it a verse came to mind.
"18 . . . on this rock I will build my church . . ." - Matthew 16:18
That verse, answered a lot of questions for me that morning.
Church was good that morning, out there in the woods. I didn't see another soul. It was just me, and God. I worshipped Him, I prayed to Him and I praised Him for being all I need. I don't worship better because of "special lighting" or a man-created "experience." I worship because I need to.
WHY - So "why" do we worship? Well, because that's what we were created to do. When God created Adam and Eve, He didn't just do that so they could go off by themselves and eat apples. He created them so that they could have a relationship with Him, so they could enjoy each others company, so they could worship the God who created them
These days there are many "gods", each offering us reasons why THEY should be worshipped.
HOW - There is one verse that really described how we are to worship. It is found in both the Old and New Testaments . . in Deuteronomy 6:5 and in Luke 10:27, Mark 12:30 and Matthew 22:37
"25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” - Luke 10:25-28 (ESV)
Why is that verse in the Bible so many times? Umm, so we can get it through our thick skulls that THAT is what God wants us to do? Mhmm.
We were made to worship - with all our heart, soul, strength & mind. So, how are we doing with that? I know that I fall way short in that area. But perhaps I need to try showing Him just how much I love Him, just how much I honor and respect Him. But you know what? Even is I worship all day, every day, it still won't be enough. It still won't express how much He deserves.