Statue of King David by Nicolas Cordier in the...

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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?

Bible Marathon

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A marathon, not a telethon, and you don’t read while you run for 26 miles (though that’s an intriguing possibility)! No, the only running involved was when I ran across an online 90-day Bible reading plan (courtesy of a site called YouVersion). It sounded like an intriguing possibility, and a good way to both bolster my spirits in general, and keep me occupied while Sophia’s in Rome for this semester, so I decided to take the plunge.

I’m only a day behind so far (since I was pretty occupied last Tuesday with getting her on her flight at O’Hare, as well as a deluge of packing, last minute purchases, and the 6 hours in the car there and back0, so I’m doing pretty good. I read more some days, and less others, but the computer keeps track of the chapters and what day they’re “due.” I generally read from a print version, and then check them off on the on-line version, but if I’m away form home, I can always read on the road via the computer. Since my Bible and my laptop weigh about the same, there’s no savings there, but I do have more options with a laptop!

This isn’t the first time I’ve read the Bible all the way through, by any means. (I’ve read my New American Bible a few times.) About ten years ago I started reading Protestant versions, to keep up with the times, so what I like to do is read different translations. I really enjoyed reading the King James Version, because there are so many phrases that you recognize as lines from movies or books! It’s a little like going to the opera and thinking, Hey, didn’t I hear this music from Bugs Bunny cartoons when I was a kid? The whole experience is that much more enjoyable. This time I’m reading the Amplified Version. It’s intriguing, since there’s so much expansion. It doesn’t make for good reading aloud, I think, but it’s okay for silent reading. I know there are people that use it all the time, but I think most people feel comfortable with the Bible that they’ve used the longest.

So this is my reading for now. Mostly. Naturally, I’m also reading a number of other books, but they’ve sort of taken a back seat since I’m on this reading plan.