The words “adventure” and “worship” are not often used in the same sentence except when modified by the word “not.” Most people view worship as a passive activity at best, unless you belong to one of those congregations that stands up and sits down a lot or allows dancing and rolling around the aisles.
No, words that come to mind in terms of worship are silent, safe, sedate, and unfortunately boring. The greatest Sunday morning adventures may be in getting your reluctant kids to worship or in gulping down enough caffeine to make it through the sermon.
What is worship really about?
Eugene C. Scott joins Mike in writing A Daily Bible Conversation twice a week.
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THE WORD MADE FRESH
We don’t get worship. Most of the time we think worship is about singing our favorite hymns or songs or hearing a good sermon or practicing meaningful traditions. We feel good about going to church if we “get something out of it.” We often treat going to church like a trip to some kind of self-service spiritual filling station.
But Psalm 149 draws a very different picture of worship. Not only does the psalmist surprise by using fun words such as “rejoice,” “glad,” “joy,” and “delight,” to describe corporate worship but he seems to believe worship is not about getting something out of God but rather connecting with God.
In worship we are to rejoice in our maker and be glad in our king. And God in turn delights in us, his people. Worship is not about perfect music and polished sermons. Worship is a relationship. God thinks it’s fun to be with us.
Annie Dillard writes about this kind of worship in her book Teaching a Stone to Talk: “A high school stage play is more polished than this service we have been rehearsing since the year one. In 2,000 years, we have not worked out the kinks. We positively glorify them. Week after week we witness the same miracle: that God is so mighty He can stifle His own laughter. Week after week, we witness the same miracle: that God, for reasons unfathomable, refrains from blowing our dancing bear act to smithereens. Week after week, Christ washes the disciples’ dirty feet, handles their very toes, and repeats, ‘It is alright—believe it or not—to be people.’”
This is not such a strange concept. There are many times where we simply enjoy being with family or friends. We may be playing cards or taking a walk or sipping tea. The activity is not important; being together is. And trying to get something out of being together is often counter-productive.
In a world of a thousand demands and distractions, God calls us into a time and place of focus. “Sing to the Lord a new song.” Bask in God’s presence. Worship. It may seem to some a waste of time, boring, irrelevant, outdated. But in reality what greater adventure could there be than being with God?