Worship Revisited

“Worship is to honour with extravagant love and extreme submission” (Webster’s Dictionary, 1828).

Tonight at Kairos, Michael Boggs talked about worship. If anybody knows about worship, you’d think it’d be someone who makes his living as a worship leader. Yes, he’s really, really good at leading others into the presence of God through worship music.

Yet he himself would say that worship isn’t restricted solely to singing of songs. Worship is more than music, more than a song.

Worship is a lifestyle that starts where we live, work, and play. Worship is an attitude that informs everything we do. Worship is a state of mind that turns even the most menial of tasks into acts of adoration to God.

I’m guilty of expecting the most up-to-date songs when I go to a worship event. I expect professional-caliber musicianship (I suppose I’m a bit spoiled from living in Nashville where practically everyone plays guitar and writes songs and sings).

True worship starts before I walk through the church doors. If I am truly worshipping in spirit and in truth like Jesus told me I should, then I can worship to the latest Hillsong offering with a full band or a 500-year old hymn accompanied by a pipe organ and piano.

I’ve been to a tiny church where the pastor spoke with a thick African accent that was difficult for me to understand. The girl who led worship was about a half-step off-key the entire time. Yet I can’t think of a more worshipful experience.

A good musician with a good band can manipulate a crowd into an excited frenzy. Big speakers, colorful lights, and the right atmosphere can heighten the emotional rush. But there is still no true worship without the Holy Spirit, even with the most talented musicians and sound/light techs in the world.

My prayer is that my worship won’t just be on Sundays at 9:30 am and on Tuesdays at 7 pm, but 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I pray that my worship won’t just be lyrics but a radical and extravagant love, not just songs but a total and extreme submission, and not just music but a way of life that speaks louder than any songs ever could.

 

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