Worship is one of the central aspects of the Christian faith and tradition, and it is a divisive topic continually subject to debate and reexamination. The way worship is executed affects numerous individuals’ decisions on which church to place membership in and completely affects a church gathering’s tone.
As a musician, I have been continually encouraged to participate in and lead worship at various churches and have been led, consequently, to examine some of the questions surrounding “worship” and what exactly it is in the first place.
According to dictionary.com, worship is defined as:
Worship – n.
1. reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.
2. formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage
But these definitions are only small aspects of what it means to truly honor God.
I believe the concept of worship is a constantly evolving one. Because we worship an infinite God, we can always learn new things about Him, and we can therefore find new ways to react to what we know of Him.
I want to use this post today to begin developing a working concept of what worship is and what it looks like. And I would love for this to turn into a discussion of how others view worship as well. I think our discussions amongst the Church Body are so important to our development as believers, and learning to view another individual’s perspective on a topic can bring new aspects of God’s character to light.
So without further ado, let’s talk about what what worship is anyway:
- An encounter with God that leads us to understand an appreciate Him in new ways
- A relational exchange that requires complete vulnerability and genuineness of both the worshiper and the worshiped
- Can be either an individual encounter or a corporate (group) encounter
- A lifestyle of seeking more of who God is and reacting in response to what He reveals to us
- An opportunity to be united to our Creator and to one another
While defining “worship” and developing a clear, concise concept remains a constant struggle, studying scripture reveals various aspects of how to honor God in the meantime. Because, ultimately, we worship to express to God who we know Him to be and how we understand ourselves as a result of divine revelation.
So while we may not fully understand worship, we know that God deserves our praises and honor because of His great goodness, His character, and for the sake of His own Name.
1 Chronicles, chapter 16 reads as follows:
25 For the Lord is great and highly praised;
He is feared above all gods.
26 For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
27 Splendor and majesty are before Him;
strength and joy are in His place.
28 Ascribe to the Lord, families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
29 Ascribe to Yahweh the glory of His name;
bring an offering and come before Him.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness;
30 tremble before Him, all the earth.
What do you think are the defining aspects of “worship?” What else do you think is included when developing a complete concept of what it looks like to worship God?
Angela is a writer of songs and articles currently residing in the Denver area. She is a coffee connoisseur and lover of clever song lyrics. She geeks out over Harry Potter, black light mini golf , The Legend of Zelda, and macaroni and cheese.