Monday, June 21, 2010

Why Worship?

I grew up as a pastor's kid - Sunday morning worship wasn't optional. God called me into ministry - again, Sunday morning...not optional. I have always lived in the world where worship is simply part of the week. It isn't an enormous effort to go or something that would even occur to me as an option for consideration. It simply is.

It occurred to me recently that not everyone has the same story (I know, one of those rare moments of non-self-centeredness we humans experience from time to time). It made me wonder if I would go to worship every week if I wasn't the pastor's kid or the pastor. I would like to think the answer is yes, but the only thing I can base that on is my four years of college when I wasn't under my parent's direct purview or on a church's payroll and I still went to worship every week. I'm not looking for a gold star here, I get my genetic and habitual presets, I'm just sayin'...

Anyway, since it is summer and the temptation to not worship seems greater, I thought I would take a moment to offer a few reasons why we worship so that the next morning you wake up and ask "Why?" you have some motivators to push you to worship over the extra sleep/boat/beach/pool/to-do list/or whatever else seems more engaging or pressing at the moment. Here goes:

1. God is worthy of all the worship we can give. He created us. He loves us. He provides for us. He saves us from our selfishness, foolishness and daily bad decisions. He forgives us. He gave us Jesus. Enough said.

2. Worship is what we were created to do. You know those moments where everything in your life seems to feel right or in place? Those are the moments we're living fully into our design - a design to know our Creator. It can happen in lots of times and places, but none more so than in times and places of worship. I don't know about you, but in my chaotic life, I crave those moments where things make sense - why miss the place I know it happens?

3. Worship reminds us that we're part of something much bigger than ourselves. It's easy to get caught up in our own world and develop tunnel vision. That's great when things are going well, but when things aren't going so well, it's easy to get despondent. In worship, we see other people who may have an encouraging story to tell of where God has been active in their life. In worship, we read Scripture together that reminds us of God's faithfulness and Jesus' incredible love for us.

4. Worship is an opportunity to say thank you to Jesus for saving our lives and drawing us back to the God who is love. I do a lot of meaningless things in my week, including the hours of mindless television I watch and the solitaire I play on my phone at night to make my brain stop working so I can fall sleep. It's nice to do something with so much meaning to start the week and to start each day.

I could go on, but you get the point. I'm not writing this as a guilt trip for all the times you may have missed worship (I don't have perfect attendance either). Instead I want to encourage you for all the opportunities you have in front of you to worship. Worship is a gift from God - an opportunity to be with Him, and there's no better place in heaven or on earth!

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