I love seeing the different places where God shows up.
Last weekend my husband and I went to a conference where worship was loud, boisterous, and spontaneous with people dancing in the aisles. I didn’t know a lot of the songs, and volume may have been a little loud for my tastes. (Sometimes I feel older than I am). But God was there, and we worshipped.
Sunday morning I went to church with a choir, orchestra, and blended worship. The youth choir led us in worship, and every move of the service was choreographed down to where the ushers picked up the offering plates. But God was there, and we worshipped.
Sunday’s at our home church are casual, with hugs and hymns, choruses and a little bit of cowboy-twang. My attention gets pulled between wiggly children and my mental checklist. Then there are moments when my son settles in my lap, and my daughter leans against me as her voice joins with mine. God is there, and we worship.
I’ve met with God in worship in Mexico and Thailand, Central Asia and Vietnam. He’s there in high church liturgy and booming lines of bass. He meets me in the sanctuary and makes a cathedral out of our old porch swing. He’s shown up on those nights when I’ve danced and sang as I rocked a crying baby and held me when I’ve wept the tears of a broken heart. He’s there in the silence and the stillness; there in the joyous celebration of God’s presence. He’s there as we gather to mourn our sin and celebrate our new birth. God is there, and I worship.
It’s so easy to make worship about us. We put barriers around it, saying we “just can’t worship” with that kind of music or those kind of people. We come as critics and consumers. After all, we play those roles the rest of the week–why should Sunday be any different? We act as if the worship leaders and pastors are there for our entertainment, and we are there to be filled and to consume. And we miss the point of worship.
Worship isn’t about me. In worship I come, acknowledging that he is Lord and I am his servant. Worship is service. In worship we humble ourselves and dedicate our time, bodies, and voices to serving our Creator with gladness. Worship is the skeleton that supports all we do as the body of Christ and the purpose for which we were created. As we go about our weeks, we tune our lives to the service of our King. We worship in the reports and the runny noses, the joyful celebrations and the quiet tears. We do the dishes, enter the data, and open the books. We show the world what Jesus looks like. God is there in the midst of it, and we worship.
So on Sundays we come together, all of us, to fill and to spill out. We rejoice in what we have seen God do, and we renew our strength for another week of worship. When we lift our voices together, it’s both rehearsal and culmination; the natural result of experiencing God’s presence and practicing the presence of God in a world that so often makes us forget whose we really are. This week as we enter, God will be there among us. Let us let go of distractions; release our bitterness and practice grace. May we trade our own rights for honoring one another in love. Let us both celebrate the unity we have in Christ and seek to preserve it. God will be there with us. May we join hands, hearts, and voices and worship him.
Where will you worship this week?
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