WORSHIP: I’ve been thinking about why it is that I enjoy going to church so much; but it’s much more than “enjoy” – worship satisfies.
What I’ve concluded is that church nourishes me in a fundamental way. In other words, worship achieves the same effect as a lungful of pure air, or cool water when I’m thirsty, or a good meal when I’m hungry. Worship satisfies an essential need, one that is built into the foundational fabric of my creation as a human creature.
In a sense, I am incomplete to the extent that I do not participate in worship; and I am filled up when I do. Worship is a natural requirement of the soul, not something supplemental, added on, optional, or contrived.
Sometimes – and probably because of a misplaced sense of pride – I baulk when I think about being instructed by scripture to worship God (we are so instructed…); or when I approach worship from the viewpoint that God is intrinsically worthy of veneration and adulation, simply by virtue of the fact that God is God (God is worthy…); or when I feel in some way obligated to bow (even though it’s a fact – I am obligated…); or if I simply feel weird about coming to God on my knees, in humility, with a deferential manner (and I definitely should come that way, much more than I do…).
NOURISHMENT: But then I remember that worship nourishes me; worship fills me up. Worship doesn’t diminish, or empty; worship doesn’t tap me out in order to pump up God – in fact it achieves quite the opposite. So my concerns, my prideful stumbling blocks, turn out not only to be wrong but to lead me in absolutely the opposite direction that I intended!
Here is the paradox: humbling myself before God turns out to lift me up. Showing up at church and raising my hands in praise to God serves just as much to advance me as a being of worth. Ascribing all the glory to Jesus brings nothing but affirmation and meaning to my own life.
When we worship, we both glorify the Creator and affirm the creation.
Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation. – Psalm 100