It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration. --John 4:24, the Message Bible
From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
Church: noun \ˈchərch\
: a building that is used for Christian religious services
: religious services held in a church
: a particular Christian group
Worship: A noun and a verb. wor·ship \ˈwər-shəp also ˈwȯr-\ noun:
: the act of showing respect and love for a god especially by praying with other
: people who believe in the same god : the act of worshipping God or a god
: excessive admiration for someone
It was a different sort of day at work recently at the Christian retreat center where I work as housekeeper. We were in the thick of the fall season, one of our busiest times of the year. Management had brought in some auxiliary help to the laundry, and suddenly one of the workers there broke into a rendition of the beloved hymn, "His eye is on the sparrow...." My, could she hit those notes! We all stopped to listen before returning, inspired, to our individual work assignments.
Yes, even though it gets really hectic at work sometimes, I was reminded how much a pause to praise God, even in the height of our busy-ness, can help to remind us what it's all about. "Amen!" we said when the singer finished. Someone said they felt like they were in church. I thought to myself I wonder if they realized how right they were! Praise God and clean on!
Since that day at the laundry room I've been putting some extra thought into the topic of worship. I've been wondering:
- What happens when we worship God during the hardships and trials of life?
- How does such worship affect our outlook and purpose in life?
- What happens when we pause to worship God even as we hold onto the messiness of our lives?
- Could “church” take place any time and any where, not needing to be centered or focused just within a physical building?
- What if “Church” had no walls for division? How would the ministry of the church be changed in that form of thinking?
- Can you imagine “Praising God all the day long?”
- Suppose you were praising God as you went about the duties of your work or service--what would that look like in your life? Would it possibly shift the way you look at true work as a vocation?
When our duties go beyond ordinary they become extraordinary. We become extraordinary when we think and act beyond the “everydayness” of ourselves. Suppose, then, if we keep our worship focus upon praising God for our lifetime, then we will not have to fear our death! Our worship will take on a different form of being when we come unto God!
God wants all the aspects of our lives from birth to death. I don't know about you, but it is easy for me to try to separate and contain the parts of my life such as job, family, work, school into mental "boxes". We say “Ok, God, I'm here doing this thing at this point in time, and I'm trying to be God-focused.” We cannot put the departments of our lives into such neat little boxes. God wants the parts even that don't fit right into the boxes. God wants all of ourselves, all the time. To give only a part of that is to not give unto God our whole being.
Thanks be to God!
For help with a moment of worship today:
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