Worship

by Catherine McNiel on August 10, 2020

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

                                                                                                            —Psalm 150:6 

Praise the Lord, all you nations;

    extol him, all you peoples.

For great is his love toward us,

    and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.

            Praise the Lord.

                                                                                                            —Psalm 117

 

Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

                                                                                                            —Luke 24:53

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

                                                                                                            —Acts 2:42-47 

This week, our series on the Church turns to the topic of worship. What is worship? What does it look like for us, the Church, to worship? 

According to Eerdman’s Dictionary of the Bible, worship is “the appropriate human response to the magnificent glory of God.” The Bible is literally stuffed with examples. Genesis 1 was written as part of Israel’s worship liturgy; the words recited to express collective awe and wonder at God the Creator. Revelation ends with all heaven and earth praising the Lamb, the Alpha and Omega. 

The Gospel of Luke opens with Zechariah performing his duties of worship. A few chapters (but many years) later, during a time of community worship Jesus declares that the prophets’ words read in the service are fulfilled now, today, in Him. Luke ends his gospel with the disciples worshiping continually at the temple, praising God. In Acts, Luke describes the growing community of Jesus’ followers as worshiping together daily. 

If a photographer followed us around for a few days to capture glimpses of our daily lives, what would the album show? In addition to our work, our meals, our relaxation, our time with family, would it be clear—as it is in in the Bible’s snapshots—that worship infiltrates our daily and weekly rhythms? 

This week, we will look at what worship entails for lovers of God and followers of Jesus, but one thing is certain: worship is meant to be at the heart of everything we do, everything we are.

 

Questions for reflection and discussion: In what ways does worship inundate your life daily, weekly, yearly? Why is worship important both for individuals and for communities?

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