Drawn to the Center
What is worship? You might say, “to sing sacred music,” “to hear the Bible preached” or, “to be reminded of God’s love each week.” While all true, it is hard to truly capture the full meaning of “worship.” For starters, many of us think “worship” is only what happens Sunday morning. If that is the only time we worship, we are missing out!
What we discover in the scriptures is that all of life is “worship.” From the moment we wake up, to the moment we fall asleep, and all our words and deeds, we can participate in worship. God makes the sun rise, brings air to our lungs. God gives us opportunities and families. God directs our steps and decisions and allows us to enjoy the complex beauty of creation from rainbows and butterflies to the physics that hold our galaxy together. It is impossible to escape God. So, since we are constantly in God’s presence, benefitting from God’s grace, and enjoying the benefits of God’s love, we should be gratefully worshiping God all the time!
Unfortunately, many of us go about our daily routines not thinking about God at all. We get sidelined with family business, appointments, errands, etc. When we lose sight of God our life drifts away from God and we can become overcome by the trials and hardships we face. It becomes like we are guests in another’s house, but we ignore our hosts as we pretend the house is our own. Let us not insult God with our selfishness, and reap the burdens of a life apart from God. Instead, let us continually be reminded of whose we are.
To that end, here is how I would define worship: the active recognition of, participation in, and celebration of God’s creation because of what Jesus has done. There are nuances of course that anyone could argue should be included (growing relationships, overcoming struggles, or striving to be a holy people). While those are all very true, at the heart of it, “worship” is recognizing we are in God’s world, created to be God’s people.
The last several months I have outlined a Nautilus Discipleship Model. “Encounter,” “Engage,” “Participate,” and “Transformation.” Imagine Jesus is at the center of the nautilus. To get there, we are drawn deeper into the spiral, continually engaging, participating and being transformed. In other words, continually worshipping! The more we worship, the more this process of discipleship will draw us to the center where Jesus is.
If we neglect a life of worship our days will be hollow and hopeless. If we are drawn to the center, no crisis or tragedy will be able to separate you from the love of God. I hope you can take a breath, and worship right now (go ahead!). Be reminded the Jesus is right here, having died to forgive you, so that you don’t need to be afraid. Let us rejoice and give thanks as we worship, as we are drawn to the center.