Open Your Bible
Exodus 34:5-8, Psalm 29:2, Matthew 14:24-33, Luke 19:35-40, Acts 3:1-10, Revelation 5:8-14
BY Guest Writer
I went to more than one-hundred Sunday church services last year. First, I worked at a church that held three services. Later, looking for a new church, I tried two locations every Sunday. After I picked one, I still went to every service to re-plant my roots.
Last March, we paused our services for thirteen weeks to slow the spread of COVID-19. For thirteen Sundays, I watched church on YouTube alone, whispered the first line or two of a hymn, and mumbled through the shared liturgy. But I realized during this season that I needed to re-learn what worship really is. It is not just for Sunday morning, and it is not just that part of the church service where the worship team is playing music.
Jesus taught the Samaritan woman that, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). The Holy Spirit is sometimes likened to air, or pneuma. Job said, “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4). Jesus breathed on His disciples to share the Holy Spirit (John 20:22). Elsewhere, Jesus reminds us how God’s truth feeds us: “Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). So we have it backwards if we think God needs or craves our worship. We are the ones who need to worship, the same way we need air and food.
God creates and sustains and saves us. Before Him we can boast of nothing. But we get to worship. It is our response to His work and His nature, and it isn’t limited to a service once a week. It is a discipline we carry into all of life, like Moses bowing at Yahweh’s name in gratitude of His compassion, grace, and love (Exodus 34:6–9), or the disciples responding in awe of Jesus’s power over creation (Matthew 14:24–33). When we worship, we are adding our praise to that of the lame man who rejoiced in Christ’s power to heal (Acts 3:1–10). We anticipate when we will join with all creation in singing, “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to the one seated on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13).
When Augustine said, “The Christian should be an alleluia from head to foot,” maybe he meant that to have a head and a foot, and the life that comes with them, is the grace of God. And to offer that whole body and life is the discipline of worship (Romans 12:1). The Holy Spirit acts in worship, nourishing us and guiding us to praise, thank, confess, obey, pray, and give. Living out the practice of worship, we learn how to be, how to know, and how to be still and know (Psalm 46:10, NIV).
Written by David Chaniott
79 thoughts on "Worship"
Staying home with my baby Can get repetitive and lonely but I’m glad for this reminder of worship.
Alleluia from head to foot…. wow, what a powerful way to view my life.
I choose to see the individual moments in my life that are gifts from God – whether large or small – and respond in worship. Thanking Him for who He is, for My God is so good!
I never felt the same watching church at home. It was much harder to concentrate and really focus on the message.
I’m excited to worship him and figure out what that looks like in every moment. I Struggle with singing and especially singing alone so I’m glad I can explore worshiping him in other ways. I miss church services, I do.
Amen.. Father I call You for help..
2020 and even 2021 so far…fear of everything COVID-19. I live in a state that did not shut down in general. The church I attend did shut down in person service for about 3 months and offered online and Facebook services. I participated in those services but I felt like I could not fully participate due to so many distractions in my home. As soon as the in person services began again I was there and still am there. It’s different though. Only about 1/4 of the congregation seem to be attending for the two morning services. I attribute this to a few things. Some don’t want to wear a mask, some got used to not coming and like the online service, and some are afraid no matter how many precautions the church takes. The devotion quotes the scripture when Jesus says Take heart it is I and do not be afraid❤️
I don’t have a church to attend they closed I think often that I miss going
Post Comments (79)