Friday, February 17, 2006

What is worship?

We tend to think of worship as something that we do at a specific time (usually Sunday morning) at a specific place (a church building). Some people tell us that we should worship more often than we do. The truth is that we are always worshipping. The issue is not whether we worship but what we worship.

The first question we must ask is what it is that we are worshipping. Are we worshipping success? Wealth? Power? Family? Youth? Sex? If an auditor examined our checkbook and our date book, what would he conclude is most valuable to us? Jesus said that we cannot have more than one master. We cannot divide our loyalty between two or more sovereigns.

As Christians our lives should be an act of worship to God. Paul said that we should offer our bodies as living sacrifices. We can’t appease God by getting together once a week and saying nice things about him. But, of course, we don’t worship God because it benefits him. We worship God for our own benefit. Unfortunately, most of the time we don’t worship him at all.

If, in fact, we are living lives of worship then why do we need to gather together to worship? Because it is part of what it means to be a church and part of what it means to be a Christian. We cannot adequately worship God alone. Shared worship is an essential part of life in Christ.

I’ll wait for another time to make the case for the necessity of shared worship. Right now I want to explore what that shared worship should be.

Many Christians “go to church” for what the “church” can do for them. They go to take advantage of the programs and services provided by the paid staff and dedicated volunteers. And they complain if everything isn’t done according to their personal preferences.

Imagine a chef who arrives at a restaurant when he is scheduled to work, but instead of going to the kitchen he goes to the dinning room expecting to be served. When the food comes he complains about the way it is prepared and at the end of the meal leaves without paying the bill, stiffing the waiter in the process.

Worship is as much the responsibility of the person in the pew as it is of the person in the pulpit.

This is not to say that the quality of the worship is not important. No one wants to eat bland food. But we all have a role to play in the quality of the worship. We should be going to the kitchen instead of the dinning room.

Pastor Rod

“Helping you become the person God created you to be”

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