Worship has received a renewed emphasis in Christian circles in the past decade. That’s a good thing. Anything that causes us to think about worship is good.
With that said, I wonder if the reason we talk about it more today than our parents or grandparents generations is that they had it but somehow we missed it. They didn’t talk about worship – they just worshipped. We talk about it but don’t. At least not like they did. Perhaps.
Several years ago Michael W. Smith wrote a song titled The Heart of Worship. It was made popular by a number of Christian artists including Sandi Patti. You can listen to Matt Redman’s version here.
The lyrics of the first verse and chorus are:
When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that’s of worth
That will bless Your heart
I’ll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart
I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You,
It’s all about You, Jesus
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You,
It’s all about You, Jesus
The song is true, as far as it goes. Worship is all about Jesus. It is all about what’s in our hearts. It’s true that it’s about blessing Jesus, not just being blessed. It’s true that we’ve turned it into something less than it is.
The shortcoming of the song (and this may never have been Smith’s goal) is that it tells us what worship ISN’T but it doesn’t tell us what worship IS. And that’s rather important. We won’t be able to worship until we know what the worship of Jesus is supposed to look like.
So let me offer some general thoughts on worship that I believe are grounded in a study of worship in the Word
- Worship is more about how we live each day in the holiness of Jesus than it is about what we do on Sunday.
- Worship is more about giving to Jesus than it is receiving something from Jesus.
- Worship is more about who we are as sanctified people than it is about what we do (and it is about what we do).
- Worship is more a life-style of obedience to Jesus than it is an hour spent with Jesus on the first day of the week.
- Worship is more about the time we spend with Jesus every day than it is about the hour we spend with Jesus on Sunday.
- Worship is more about serving Jesus than it is singing about Jesus.
- Worship is more about Jesus than it is about me.
I don’t claim these statements define worship in its totality. Maybe you can add to them. But they are a place to begin the discussion.
So the question is: Are we really worshiping or are we doing something else?
Stay in the Word