The 5 W's of Worship
WHO do we worship?
Most of us would say we worship God, at least for an hour on Sunday morning. But I wonder who (or what) else we worship in our every day lives. At this time of year, some of us worship football as a sport, or a particular player or team. We worship technology when we just can’t put down the phone or we have to have the newest tech. We can also worship clothing, celebrities, wealth, and a lot of other things. Essentially, we worship what or who we are passionate about. We worship what, or who, is the focus of our lives. So, do we really worship God?
Exodus 32:4-6 -- He took the gold from them, formed it in a mold, and cast an image of a calf; and they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a festival to the Lord.” They rose early the next day, and offered burnt offerings and brought sacrifices of well-being; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to revel.
WHAT is worship?
Worship is the act of paying homage to something. The act of giving the God (or anyone/anything else) highest value in our lives. Worship is more than an hour on Sunday morning. Worship is a lifestyle - it is a world view, a life focus. Sometimes we use the word worship as a noun on Sunday mornings, but it’s really a verb. Worship is something we do Sunday mornings but also something we do throughout our lives. Worship is active, it takes participation and intent. Worship is the act of transforming our lives into something more perfect - more Christ-like. It is giving our whole selves to God’s purpose and will.
Romans 12:1-2 -- I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
WHEN do we worship?
Our goal is to worship every moment of every day. There is no “when” because we are always worshiping -- always giving thanks, always praying, always seeking to do God’s will. Truth is, we are always worshipping - focusing our lives on - something. Though we may not always be worshipping God every moment. It is our intention, however, to worship God with every minute of our lives.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 --16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
WHERE do we worship?
We worship anywhere and everywhere! Even when we worship apart from others, we are worshipping with others as part of the one Body of Christ. We worship in church, at home, at school, at work. We worship in the car or at the grocery store. But wherever 2 or 3 are gathered, God is there in the midst of them. We practice how to worship when we gather with others for prayer, song, and fellowship. It is these moments that we practice how to be the church and worship Christ ith the rest of our lives.
Acts 2:44-47a -- All who believed were together and had all things in common; 45 they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds[j] to all, as any had need. 46 Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home[k] and ate their food with glad and generous[l] hearts, 47 praising God and having the goodwill of all the people.
WHY do we worship?
Perhaps the most significant question in this conversation! We worship God because we are blessed to receive grace through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We worship God as an act of devotion. We love God, because God first loved us. We express this love with every part of our being and doing. We worship because God has expressed that same love for us over an over again.
Psalm 136:1 -- O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
O Lord my God! when I in awesome wonder
consider all the worlds thy hands have made.
I seee the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
thy power thorughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul, my savior God to thee
How great thou art! How great thou art!