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It’s not just for Sundays anymore! Or, it shouldn’t be.
In all truth, however, I don’t think I spend a lot of time worshipping when I’m not at church. And that’s something I’d like to change. In the first books of both Kings and Chronicles, we see King David worshipping at so many times, and when in so many situations that it’s obvious that he did it all the time.
I know that in the past I’ve worshipped God when I’m happy, but I tend not to worship when I’m sad or depressed, let alone when I’m angry. But we see David worshipping even after the death of the “love child” he conceived with Bathsheba. (Don’t get me started on that relationship. It’s for another entry!)
I’ve read a number of religiously-oriented books about depression that suggest worshipping when I’m depressed, and I’ll have to admit that when I’ve grudgingly (yes, I’ll admit it) started, it’s been a positive experience and has lifted my mood. The more I worshipped, the better the mood. I’ll also admit that there’s been more than a few occasions where I had no intention of worshipping, because I just couldn’t get there. (A few of those times I didn’t even want to get there! Sad…)
Could that perhaps be because I haven’t made worship a daily activity? Maybe if I was more in the habit of worshipping God every day, rain or shine (especially in the rain?), I’d be more inclined to worship Him when I’m not in the mood.
But what does it mean to worship God? According to the Oxford English Dictionary the act of worship includes:
1. To honour or revere as a supernatural being or power, or as a holy thing; to regard or approach with veneration; to adore with appropriate acts, rites, or ceremonies. b. To regard with extreme respect or devotion; to ‘adore’. c. To engage in worship; to perform, or take part in, the act of worship.
2. To honour; to regard or treat with honour or respect. b. To treat with signs of honour or respect; to salute, bow down to. c. To honour with gifts, etc.
3. To invest with, raise to, honour or repute; to confer honor or dignity upon.
Yeah, all that church stuff. (Odd how it doesn’t include singing!) It’s a lot easier to do this in a ritualized church environment. You’re already in the right place, at the right time, with the right sounds and smells (all these sensual experiences make it so much easier—it’s stuff Catholics like). We see all these things utilized—demanded by God even—in the Old Testament. Almost every religion uses the senses to help create a suitable environment for worship.
But there’s obviously more to worshipping God than the burnt offerings of the Old Testament Jewish Temple and the weekly religious services many of us now engage in (regardless of your religious persuasion).
So what does it mean to worship God at home, right now, in this day and age? For me, it’s a lot about the definition I gave above. Honoring God, calling to mind His attributes and characteristics, listing the many things He has done for me (things I don’t deserve). I may sing (with or without playing the piano), or even dance. Maybe I’ll even bow down!
What might you do?