Worship

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Our worship team were invited to give a short training session in another church and I have been working on a rough framework to begin work with.

1. What is worship?
Worship is the act of paying divine honour to God; an act of or feeling of adoration or loving or admiring devotion or submissive respect; to perform religious service to; to reverence with supreme respect and admiration. (The New Elizabethan Reference Dictionary)

2. Worship Flows from Theology, Worship Shapes Theology
Worship is significantly bound up with the religious beliefs of the believer but the converse is equally true: one’s worship shapes one’s theology.

3. A Biblical look at Worship
a. Deut 12:1-14
- who is the object of true worship?
- who are the subjects of true worship?
- where is the place of true worship?
- what is the motivation of true worship?
- what are the characteristics of true worship?

b. Romans 1:18-25
- the attitude of false worship
- the doctrine of false worship
- the practice of false worship
- the attitude of true worship
- the doctrine of true worship
- the practice of true worship
- the result of true worship

Maeghan
Picture by Jesse Schutt

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4 comment(s)

  1. Good stuff, as usual, Maeghan. Can I try to add to it?

    Worship is excellent, but adoration is much to be preferred. Worship sounds to me like what a cheerleader does from the sidelines while her boyfriend is in the game playing his heart out. Adoration is what she does at the restaurant after the game.

    Both are good, but I wish for the day the church seeks out ways of adoration.

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  2. Good point on adoration. But I think it is the same - just different terminologies and colour of words. When one adores, one worships and when one worships, one adores.

    But what I think you are driving home is so true - that worship must be a involved worship - that is, one must have already experienced and living in His presence to truly worship Him.

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  3. Amen.

    The trick is how to get people to involve themselves.

    I don't like this, but it's true. When the word, "worship," enters my mind, I get a picture of something very heathen. I see masses of fearful, despairing adherents to the faith being led through an ecstatic ceremony. They chant and are silent and sing and dance and clap because these things will appease the unapproachable deity. These are things that it requires of men, and that please it.

    That is a sad picture, and it is sad that it is there in my head, but I was raised American, and it's just there.

    When I hear Christians describe worship, some elements of that picture seem not to be sufficiently removed. It sounds like God is feeding on the approval of His people. It sounds like He longs for the day we chant and sing to Him more movingly. It sounds like heaven will be an eternity of chanting and singing, but that we will finally be able to do it right.

    Hence, my use of a cheerleader as an analogy.

    That chanting and singing can be very distancing. It can feel like it is being done from the sidelines of heaven, rather than down on the field. We are looking in on a God of great wonder, and telling Him how very much we appreciate Him. But worship needs more dimensions. Sometimes we worship from the sideline, but sometimes from on the field with God, and sometimes from a seat beside him in a restaurant, and sometimes quietly on a long journey.

    Maybe all I'm really saying is that more feelings than just one should be invoked during worship. In the New Elizabethan Reference Dictionary you quote, the words, "paying divine honour," "admiring," "submissive," "reverence," and, "supreme respect" appear. Maybe all I'm really saying is that that list is too confining.
    Maybe, "passionate," "excited," "determined," "mournful," "amused," and even, "presumptive" belong in the list. Those people in my sad vision know only reverence and fear. The people in God's plan know every emotion before Him, except that Jesus took away all the fear.

    I have a dream for worship, that a congregation could learn to worship in every mode of relationship to God.

    I know that I am not teaching you anything, but I am just kind of longing.

    You know that David's songs were sung by all the people together. David sung every mode of relationship, and the people entered together into that relationship to God with him. They followed David into mourning and rejoicing and praise and repentance.

    I want to do that, too.

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  4. I get a picture of something very heathen.I see masses of fearful, despairing adherents to the faith being led through an ecstatic ceremony. They chant and are silent and sing and dance and clap because these things will appease the unapproachable deity.

    Which "context" will this be. I am curious :) I live in a community where many people worship idols, going into trances, etc. but I am ok with the concept of worship :)
    I suppose it is who we worship that makes all the difference.

    But I get what you are driving at. We all do need correct our thoughts about worship.

    But worship needs more dimensions.

    Very true. True worship is not a flat 2 dimensional thing. It encompasses so many things.

    I have a dream for worship, that a congregation could learn to worship in every mode of relationship to God.

    Amen.

    I know that I am not teaching you anything, but I am just kind of longing.

    On the contrary, you are opening up my horizon to many other things. It is good to exchange thoughts so that we cross check what we have in our lives. Therefore, thanks to you.

    I want to do that, too.

    When I was doing my paper on Psalms some years back, I discovered that the Church Father pray the psalms everyday. I try to do that, maybe not a psalm everyday though I do want to do that.

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