This week we are exploring Worship as an element of the Christian faith; why it’s so important, and what it all means. 

Reading: 

John 4: 23-24 

23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

Psalm 95: 1-7

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;

let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before him with thanksgiving

and extol him with music and song.

For the Lord is the great God,

the great King above all gods.

In his hand are the depths of the earth,

and the mountain peaks belong to him.

The sea is his, for he made it,

and his hands formed the dry land.

Come, let us bow down in worship,

let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;

for he is our God

and we are the people of his pasture,

the flock under his care.

Romans 12: 1-2

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform 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.

Act 2: 42-47 

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Reflection: 

First off, let’s think about what people commonly think of as worship: singing songs in church, maybe prayer? Playing an instrument, waving a flag? After all, we have “worship leaders” don’t we, and they help people to sing songs right? 

Well, worship is much more than that. Worship is a lifestyle; it’s not just something that we do on a Sunday morning. Worship is our response to God’s overwhelming love for us. The definition of worship is a verb, to “show reverence and adoration” towards something or someone. In a Christian context we usually use worship to refer to our interaction with God. 

Worship isn’t just singing songs on a Sunday morning in that case. Worship is something far bigger than that. Worship is essentially anything that we do to praise, speak to, engage with, please or interact with God as our saviour. 

In that case worship can include almost anything: prayer, preaching, listening, talking with people, singing, dancing, playing an instrument, reading the bible, helping someone else with a task, making decisions that are what God would desire. All these things could come under the banner of Worship. 

In the reading from Romans 12 it says that our proper worship is living a life that is pleasing to God. Again, all of those things we’ve just mentioned, they are our proper worship. 

Of course I’m not saying that singing songs on a Sunday morning isn’t important, but what I am saying is that isn’t where worship should stop. A. W. Towzer said: 

“If you will not worship God seven days a week, you will not worship Him on one day a week”

I think what he’s getting at here is that worship doesn’t just start and stop on a Sunday morning, it’s not something you can just pick up and carrying on where you left off. A very basic example might be dieting; you couldn’t just diet on one day a week and see results could you? If you decided that every Monday you would limit your calories, only eat “healthy” foods, but on the other 6 days you ate a large dominos pizza every night, with 4 litres of coke, and a 12 slices of cake. Your diet would probably have zero impact in the way you would like. It’s the same with worship; if we want to get closer to God, and get to know him truly and deeply we can’t just try on a Sunday morning. It has to be our whole life, it’s a 7 day a week thing. 

So how can we worship on the days we aren’t at church? 

It’s that list of things we mentioned earlier. It’s anything that you do that is pleasing to God, or praises him, thanks him, or helps you to get closer to him. For many people things will be very different. Your circumstance will affect how you worship, where you live, what you’re good at. There is no “right way” to worship God. It’s whatever works for you. That’s your worship. 

You might think, why does God require all of this worship, is that very jealous of him? But in reality, I think that it’s not that God “needs” us to worship him, so much that it’s a product of our faith in him. The more we learn about God, the closer we get to God, the more we will worship him. It’s like the diet example again, the more we diet the more we see results, the more we want to keep going. The more we worship God, the more we see results, the more we want to worship God. 

Remember though, not all worship is “happy clappy”. Worship can be sharing your hurt, your anger, your pain with God. That is still interacting with him. Sometimes this is the worship that causes us to feel closest to God. 

So however you feel, whatever your skills, where you live. Try to interact with God everyday. That is your proper worship. 

Prayer: 

Lord, help me to worship you everyday. It sounds very daunting, but I want to get closer to you, and have a deeper relationship with you. Help me I pray. Amen. 

Sum It Up: 

Worship isn’t just singing, worship is a lifestyle. It’s interacting with God in everything you do, everyday. Getting closer to God. 

Weekly Challenge: 

Whatever your week looks like, try and find a little time each day to consciously interact with God this week, and see how you feel. Why not start a journal and write things down? Or sing some songs? Or just read the bible? Whatever works for you.

St Mary’s Church

12 East Street

Billingshurst

RH14 9PY

01403 782332