Worship beyond filler

Holding the small cup, I could not help overhearing two people in the pew behind me coordinating their schedules to plan a meeting. “That Saturday will work for me.”  The worship during Communion provided a lull in the service to be used to adjust their calendars.

The people of God need to understand the worship of God.  We must see worship as more than filler or an opportunity for latecomers to be seated without missing any of the sermon.  We trivialize worship because we don’t understand worship.  If we can improve our understanding of worship, we can improve our practice of worship.

Worship is an active affirmation of God’s character.  Worship is the recognition of God’s attributes and the expression of our appreciation of those attributes, that character, that Person. Worship is our appropriate response to the Living God.

In our culture we think in terms of results, efficiency, productivity.  Maybe that is why worship seems like “filler” – it does not appear to accomplish anything.  In The Knowledge of the Holy A. W. Tozer warns, “It is not a cheerful thought that millions of us who live in a land of Bibles, who belong to churches and labor to promote the Christian religion, may yet pass our whole life on this earth without once having thought or tried to think seriously about the being of God.  We prefer to think where it will do more good – about how to build a better mousetrap, for instance.”

When we slow down enough to see God as incomprehensibly Holy (Rev. 4:8) or as the unique, singular Creator (Rev. 4:11), worship becomes an opportunity to respond to Him, to know Him.  Worship becomes more important than the mousetraps (or our calendars).

Copyright 2004 Michael Wiebe