What we think about worship

I'm sure just typing the word worship in will get all sorts of commercial ads on the banners talking about worship. And when they talk about worship, they are really just talking about singing. More than likely if you went to a worship seminar, it would actualy be a seminar on music in the church. I know worship as singing is the normal usage of the word, but I try to avoid it all costs because it does seem to exalt singing as a more authentic form of worship than other ways we can worship God. Singing is just one out of many ways to worship.

Our time together as a church is usually just singing and listening to a sermon (also a form of worship). We could include offering, Lord's Supper, and probably a few other things specific to certain denomenations in there. But where are the more tangibles forms of worship. Tangible acts of love need to play a role in our corporate worship and not be set to the side for a committee to handle or to not be handle at all.

(John 14:15 NASB) "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments."

A good way to worship is to keep his commandments.

(Mat 22:36-40 NASB) "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" {37} And He said to him, "'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' {38} "This is the great and foremost commandment. {39} "The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' {40} "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."

(Mat 25:37-40 NASB) "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You drink? {38} 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? {39} 'And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' {40} "And the King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me."

How do we do acts of love to God? It appears to be by doing acts of love to those in need around us. That seems to be the most genuine and authentic way to worship. It's not by raising our hands, closing our eyes, or dancing in the aisles. It's by genuinely loving those in need. We can raise our hands, close our eyes, and dance with the best of them, but if we aren't loving those in need, then I think all our exercie was for naught. It might even receive the same welcome from God that the worship of the Israelites did.

(Amos 5:21-24 NASB) ""I hate, I reject your festivals, Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. {22} "Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; And I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings. {23} "Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps. {24} "But let justice roll down like waters And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream."

Don't get me wrong, there is Biblical precedent for singing in worship. Singing brings a healthy experience (although I am confused on that because I sometimes get that same experience with the music at rock concerts, but that might be another issue) that allows us to grow spiritually. Singing songs of worship played a role in my conversion. Did it play as much of a role as the loving people of Christ around me? Probably not, but I remember being touched and having tears role down my face while singing.

Tangible acts of love need to be the central way we express our love to God as a corporate body. The commands to love God and love our neighbors seemed to be linked for a reason. We love God by loving our neighbor. Yet in church we try to love God by only loving him directly. Something he doesn't need. That is why he tells us to love others. He doesn't need our love, but others do; they will see him through our actions. In a way, God needs us to love others. That is the system he has set up for him to be glorified. Unfortunately, we have removed loving our neighbor from our corporate gatherings. It has become only an individual thing. I find that really ironic because in a lot of cases we have turned evangelism into a corporate thing. (Another post for another day) I think both need to be done as individuals and coporately. Bring on that healthy church.

Watch out for the potholes.