Unpacking Worship: More Than A Song

UNPACKING WORSHIP blog image

 

I love a good worship song. We have a gifted worship leader at our church that can transform my Sunday morning frazzle into sincere praise for the Lord within a few short minutes. I can listen to a handful of Christian radio stations or create a “praise and worship” Pandora station on my ipod to hear worship music just about anytime of the day or night.

But is worship just singing about God, singing to Him, or attending a church service? I think a lot of us put “worship” in that small box. We worship on Sunday, close the box and then continue with our life until the following weekend. But the bible doesn’t define worship or even describe worshipful events in the same ways we do.

John Piper, pastor and teacher of desiringGod.org, digs deep into the topic of worship and it’s eye opening. He explains that in the New Testament there is very little instruction regarding corporate worship – the type of worship service we are accustomed to in our modern churches. I’d dare say Jesus’s teachings on worship are in opposition to our culture’s thinking.

When Jesus is talking to the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:20-24) He explains that true worship is not dependent on any physical location. Worship doesn’t need a building, a leader or a song. Piper explains, “What we find in the New Testament, perhaps to our amazement, is an utterly stunning degree of indifference to worship as an outward ritual, and an utterly radical intensification of worship as an inward experience of the heart.”

Romans 12:1 clarifies what worship really is, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.

Worship is our response to who God is and what He has done for us. Our total being – body, heart, mind and soul reflecting the worth of God, cherishing Him and being completely satisfied in Him alone. Worship is all about God; not about us.

Until we leave this earth, we are within our bodies 24/7. So the crux of Romans 12:1 means that we can worship anytime, anywhere as long as we make it about Him. We are walking holy temples. We can worship our maker daily, hourly, minute by minute because, as Philippians 3:3 says, we rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort.

The mundane activities of life can become acts of worship to our living God when we acknowledge His presence and rule. We can worship as we eat, work and play.

How much more so then should we worship God in the precious time of pregnancy and childbirth? I don’t know about you, but this idea gives me sweet relief!

When I am carrying my child in pregnancy, I can worship God by the simple acknowledgement that He’s all that I need; God is the ultimate provider for both me and my child. If I truly believe, that takes the pressure off of me trying to be and do it all!

I worship as I select good foods to nourish not only myself but also my baby’s body in utero.  I worship each time I prepare for birth by attending class, practice relaxing with my partner, or reading about the experience to come.   During the sweet moments of early labor, I ask God to be with me; to walk alongside me.  During the grueling hours of active labor, I call out to God for strength and peace.  During the excitement of birth, I thank God for the first glance of my child as I feel the rush of both pain and joy.  In the early moments of holding new life, I praise God for each small finger, toe and breath exhaled.  

My focus is on magnifying God and leaving the rest up to Him. My heart is leaning into God’s and he will take care of all the details to his liking. It’s not about me and what I can accomplish in my own power. It’s about God.

So I will worship in pregnancy.  Take my body Lord. Take my heart. Take my mind. Take my soul. I am the living temple where You, the Holy Spirit, lives. And I will worship.