What is the nature of Worship? It is a question that has been on my mind a lot lately. Really the last few years. The word Worship is used to refer to a great many things. But what does it mean to God? That is the question that concerns me.
A few years ago I heard a definition that probably put me on to this line of thinking. "Worship is a personal expression of the Love we have for our God and His son Jesus". An expression of gratitude for the reconciliation offered through the sacrifice of Jesus. The word that really struck me was personal. It is what I myself do. That has been a revelation, one of the good ones. It tells me Worship is first between God and me. Worship can take place at any time and any place! It can be expressed in many ways!
But what has Worship come to mean in the modern Christian Church? My thought is we have come to think of it as the part of a Church service where we sing or listen to someone else sing. Christians are starting to call this part of the service Praise and Worship. To a lesser degree Christians might call the part of service where a, Pastor or Preacher delivers a message, Worship as well. Christians are even calling the place this occurs a Worship center.
Why does this trend cause concern? Foremost is confuses the nature of Worship. Actually it constrains the nature of Worship. It promotes the idea that Worship occurs in a certain way, at a certain time. It even goes beyond that it changes Worship into something we watch for the most part instead of taking part in. I believe that these ideas are contrary to what God desires of us to experience in our time with Him.
Now to be clear watching a music performance that is of a Christian nature or listening to a Preacher expound on the Bible and the nature of God can certainly be parts of a Worshipful experience. There are many times I have heard a song that impacted my thoughts of God at that moment or heard a Sermon that helped me to have a profound appreciation and Love for God. I have always been a person that has filled their life with music. If I'm not listening to music I'm usually humming a tune or two. But sometimes we do need to turn that off and know God in the Silence.
So if Worship isn't these things or if these things are only a part of Worship, what is it that God desires for us? My personal thought is that God desires every activity and event in our lives to contribute to Worship of Him. God desires to be with us in everything we do. When we go in and come out, when we are in our rooms alone, when we are in a crowded school or workplace. God desires for us to express our love and adoration for Him in a personal way at all times of our life.