Yesterday, my son caught me deep in thanksgiving and worship in my bedroom after a particularly busy day. With tears streaming down my face, he asked, “What’s wrong mom? Nothing son, I’m just grateful and God is so good to me.” When is worship, well… worship? Does it have to come from church service only? Check this article out from Relevant Magazine writer James Dwyer.
When is Worship Real?
Just because your hands are up, doesn’t mean it’s from the heart.
man stands in church on Sunday morning with his hands held high, worshiping God. Amid the music he stands silently, breathing slowly, letting God’s grace, mercy and love wash over him. He feels peace, calm and joy, and he responds through worship.
The same man is walking to work on Monday morning. He is praying, silently, when he feels convicted by God. Walking silently, he lets God’s grace, mercy and love wash over him. He feels peace, calm and joy, and he responds through worship, thanking God from his heart on the sidewalk.
Is one of these moments more worship-filled than the other? When the man is in church on Sunday, does his worship “count” more? Do we need to have our hands held high and be singing the latest stadium-filling worship chorus in order to really encounter God?
There is a dangerous tendency in the church to compartmentalize aspects of our faith. For instance, we often “come into God’s presence” in church, which implies we leave it when we leave church. We “enter into a time of worship” when the band stands up, which suggests when they sit down our worship ceases. It is true that most of this is semantic—but the the underlying concerns are real.
The concept of worship in particular has suffered from this. We know we can pray anywhere, and it will not have a lesser value. To pray in church or to pray on the bus is the same.
Yet worship seems more complicated. We tend to think of “worship” as the 15-minute song set preceding the sermon. We know at a deeper level that it is more than that, that it is a lifestyle attitude, but we continue to associate it with singing.