“ Come on somebody WORSHIP the Father in this place” - (SAY WHAT)?
There are churches in which this statement is often repeated during a devotional service or in the newly titled “Worship and Praise” portion of a service. It is almost as if the Leader (By the way I am a Worship Leader so I am not bashing us) will repeat this as a means to empower the congregants to reach down into their church bag of tricks and pull up a worship. To an unchurched person or someone who does not practice the same way, this worship command is a foreign concept - and if you are unable to Worship as commanded, it may leave you feeling empty and possibly unwilling to enter the house of God again. In fact, to the faint in heart, one someone who is looking for a connection, any connection, this challenging statement may be the final door that eternally closes every door to an authentic relationship with a loving ABBA, Father. The clique’s command to worship says I am not good enough. In what seemingly is a safe place, we can be made to feel as though we do not fit in. Here again is that internal fight to shut out the noise and believe God the Father accepts me if I come to him as I am or it may mean the difference between coming back and trusting God again or accepting the statement of the inner voice telling me not you, not now, not here. You are not like them. He loves them better than you.
May I please take a moment and share my perspective on the expressive “Worship Command?”. Humor me if you will. I like defining words. The Oxford dictionary defines worship as a noun and a verb.
Worship the noun is
the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity.
Example - "the worship of God"
Worship the verb is to
show reverence and adoration for (a deity); honor with religious rites.
Example - "the Maya built jungle pyramids to worship their gods"
FYI – the origin of the word worship
How is it defined? I mean it is a term that is so over used. Somehow I feel as though the actuality of the word has lost something in its translation. It is like a ball being bounced back and forth over and over and over again. All of a sudden it is dense and hollow. There appears to have indentations on it and the more it is used, the appearance changes and it feels as if it may be losing air. It doesn’t bounce the same way any longer. Can you ball players relate? Worship. Tossed about loosely in some places and the validity of the word is dense in our hearing. With the indentations of many fluid definitions of its usage, worship is changing. No longer as powerful as it should be. No, not the act of worship, more the invitation to worship. In other words, not the noun Worship (What I do) but the verb Worship (how I do what I do).
Worship defined by Oxford above is a noun. A Person, place or thing. It by itself has an identity. Anything with an identity usually has a purpose to fulfill. Here again, anything with an identity also has a destination - called ”worth-ship ” - a place where my worship to arrive. My (noun) Worship, feeling, oddly enough fulfills its purpose when it releases itself onto something worthy of it. Yet, as a (verb) word used to describe an action, worship is describing something that I am doing. Is it an oxymoron to say my worship is expressed on/ poured out on my worship?
Say What? Say Worship is not an invitation to join a singer or group of singers in song. Nor is it a button that is pushed by a singer to seemingly do something in the atmosphere of service to exhibit some super power. Worship (noun) my/our feelings of expression and adoration for my/our deity connects with my/our (verb) actions of adoration to my deity. Not yet? Still unclear? Ok. What does worship look like? Turn to your neighbor and say –
It is my feeling toward my ABBA, Father connecting in agreement with my knowledge of who He is and igniting, provoking an action in me to not just feel something for Him but to do something about what, how I feel for Him. In Worship and praise I am not lifted by a song because it is fast or slow. The lyrics remind me of who He is.
More personally, the songs serve as a reminder of who He is to ME . My feelings, again, my feelings form a connection to my action which displays my love for my Deity. Wherever I am, I am commanded to worship. In school I worship. At home I worship. At work I worship. The command to worship does not come from a song leader. In fact, singing is only ONE form of how I worship. My life/ our lives are a picture of Worship. It is born out of my remembrance of my struggle, my rough times, my good times, my knowledge that my deity, my God, my Father is with me- always. He is and has been and will continue to be….with and for me because to Him… I am enough.
“ lo, I am with you always, even unto the ends of the earth
Why? Because I am constantly seeing my Deity and I am consistently reminded of who He is and has been to me so - I worship. Say what? Oh, it is easy to react to a song in service when I see him outside of service. But are we looking for Him outside of service? I see ABBA EVERYWHERE and in EVERYTHING. I may not worship right away if I am having a slow moment, but I am reminded to look for Him. Just the same way it is difficult to talk lovingly about someone that you do not know. Doesn’t matter where you are; when you don’t know you don’t know. G-D our Father – Do You know Him? SAY WHAT? I know Him, so I worship Him in every place at all times and in all things. Say What? Say it in your life. Say it in your song,. Say it in your parenting, cooking walking, talking..(worship). Say…..Say your heart’s song to your Deity, everywhere…just …here it comes…wait for it ….Somebody Everybody raise your Worship in this place!