Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Is Worship About Us Too?

Psalm 100:1-2

1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.

RevRayOn Friday – February 10th and on Monday – February 13th – I wrote the following posts on my blog pageWhat is Our Attitude When We Come to Worship?/What Style of Worship Is Right? Today’s devotional thought is the last in the three part series on worship.  I hope you have been blessed reading them.  I have been blessed writing them.

On Friday we wrote about our attitudes when we come to worship.  Here’s one quote from that post – this may be a new thought to some but worship isn’t about us – at least not primarily. Worship is mostly about God – coming before God to give God glory – honor and praise.  We wrote that worship should be about coming into God’s presence and glorifying God.  Worship is not primarily about what suits us or our desires/tastes.

On Monday we wrote about styles of worship.  We wrote that the way we worship is not as important as the attitude we have when we approach God.  We wrote: Here’s a question for us to consider – what if many of our churches are dying in the United Methodist Church because we are unwilling to offer Jesus in a fresh way that might just reach the unchurched in our communities – in our own families?

Although our attitude is paramount in worship – although worship is primarily about God – worship is also about us.  Today we want to approach this subject – which I hope we will find is not opposed to the two previous posts.

In the Old Testament there are many passages about worship.  Although worship is primarily about God – it is for us too as we approach God and humble ourselves before God.  The following are not meant to be the only Scriptures or even the best Scriptures about worship – but a few that come to my mind as I think about worship being for us as well.

Today’s passage in KJV reads this way: Psalm 100:1-2 – 1 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. 2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.  Have you heard someone say this about our singing – just make a joyful noise?  My choir director growing up use to tell us if we were joyful making our noise – that matter more than if we hit every note correctly.  If you can’t carry a tune in a bucket – worship and singing is still for you.  Worship is about raising our voices in joyful sound before God.  We lift our voices – loudly – at ball games – watching TV – rooting for our children – why not when praising our God – letting God know how much we appreciate being in God’s presence?

Another verse that comes to mind is Psalms 40:3 – He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.  Music is very important for most of us in worship.  I think that music is – at times – the most important part of our worship service.  The last two weeks I have worshiped in a different style worship service from what I normally experience – and I can tell you – the music I heard – the joy we shared in worship was moving and inspiring.

I may be unusual because I listen to a lot of different styles of music – but a variety is good for us I think.  I grew up playing the classics in band and orchestra in High School and singing hymns in church – but I also like rhythm and blues – soul – rock and roll – gospel – contemporary praise and worship – country and others styles.  I love Billy Joel – Randy Travis – CeCe Winans – Stevie Wonder – the Beatles – Elvis Presley – Brooke Frasier – James Taylor – the Temptations – Diana Ross & the Supremes – Chris Tomlin – dc Talk – Jason Yost Band – Larnelle Harris – and Jars of Clay – just to name a few.  You can see the diversity. I once heard that some of the traditional hymns we sing today were words put to bar tunes – tunes the people already knew.  If we can use a variety of music to draw others to Christ – isn’t that what we should do?

Scripture calls us to gather as we worship.  Psalms 22:22 – I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you. The implication is that we will praise God together in the congregation. This togetherness is important – because corporate worship is an important part of approaching God.  Christianity is not meant to be a personal experience but rather a shared experience.

In the early church we read that they came together to worship God – often.  Acts 2:42 – They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Often this gathering was daily – and some today have trouble coming together weekly.  We are missing out when we fail to gather together in worship and fellowship.  The founder of the Methodist Church took communion everyday – He worshiped daily.

Two of my favorite passages about our joint worship and fellowship are Romans 12:1-2 and Hebrews 10:25.  In them we read the urgency we should have to worship God – together.  Worship is about us too.

Romans 12:1-2 – 1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual  act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.  It is through our worship – through our connection together with each other before God – that we understand God’s will for us.  It is through humbling ourselves and offering ourselves – as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – that we enter into spiritual worship.

The Bible urges us to gather together – to worship together – to encourage each other in our faith.  Hebrews 10:25 – Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

So – check your attitude when you come before God to worship.  Be open to differing styles of worship – so we might reach all with the Gospel of Jesus – and come together to worship and praise the Almighty – because it is about us as well.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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February 14, 2012 - Posted by | Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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