The word "worship" in American church culture has come to be synonymous with "music". I love worship music and I love to worship using music. But I've decided that I want "worship" to characterize my life, not just what I do on Sunday morning. In order to do that, I need to understand what worship is. God impressed something on my heart during the women's retreat this weekend. This is the essence of what he said to me.
Worship is primarily about responding to what God has already done for us. It is an outpouring of gratitude for His great love and mercy and care and faithfulness.
Worship is about opening ourselves to whatever God has to say to us in this moment.
Community worship is about sharing together this faith journey that we are on. We are not alone. We together remember that our beliefs are shared by others, our struggles lessened. Even if we only share a single hour with one another on this earth, we are bound together forever as the Body of Christ.
Worship is about encountering and re-encountering, in this moment, the Eternal, Immortal, Everlasting God. We are letting Him brand us, like the sheep that we are. We are letting Him mold us like the dirty clay that we are. We remember Who He is and therefore Whose we are. Let these words from Paul's letter to Colossae remind us Who He is.
"For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that he Himself might come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of the cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before him holy and blameless and beyond reproach." Colossians 1:16-22
Remember Christ is here. In our daily lives and in our community worship. He wants to be with us: His creations who are beautiful and broken and blessed. He wants us filled with peace so that we can be peacemakers, He wants us filled with love so that we can love not only the world, but those closest to us who cause us the most heartache and who are sometimes the hardest to love. He wants us filled with faith so that when the darkest days come we have a light by which to take our next feeble steps.
That is what daily worship is and should be.
We should go into worship--at church or at home--expecting to be changed.
And we should leave expecting to change the world.