Much has been said and written about worship; yet, I am left groping with what it all means? It has become a mysterious question for me. And here is the reason. Worship has become a substitute for what I ought to be about for Christ in this world. It has become an indoor enriching affair for my faith. That has placed me in danger of confusing lip service to Christ inside a fellowship from witnessing about Him in the world. The world has been remarkably successful in keeping worship inside our churches.
No doubt, our Lord does not mind us praising Him inside our sanctuaries and homes; only that is not what we are in this world all about. I went to a dictionary to get a secular opinion on worship. I was taught that worship included hymns, Scripture readings, prayers, confessions, sermons and more praises. The dictionary had none of these. Instead it had an empirical approach. Before one was worthy of admiring or venerating a higher up one had to be dignified, devoted, honorable and respected outside the religious community. For instance, the Apostle Paul accused his people of dishonoring God by breaking the law and their action resulted in Gentiles blaspheming God’s name (Ro.2: 17-24). Our Lord Jesus was not impressed by being called Lord, without first obeying the will of His heavenly Father (Mt.7: 21-23). The Jewish leaders took note that Peter and John had been with Jesus (Ac.4: 13).
It is essential that we do not neglect to assemble (He.10: 25) for edification (I Cor.14: 26) so that we become equipped to render service to those in need (Ja.1: 27). Our Lord used two objects to illustrate how important our veneration of God in public was, namely salt and light (Mt.5: 13-16). Salt is needed for staying healthy inside our bodies so that we can shine outside. Jesus also said that our bodies would become springs of living water (Jn.7: 38). How can this be unless we lead honorable lives? Even our prayers, if they are not to be aimless talk, must be backed by honorable living (Mt.6: 7). It is the prayer or the worship of a righteous person that moves the heart of our Lord (Ja.5: 16). Honorable living also moves the hearts of men. Some of our people were severely tortured during World War II. One of my uncles, an upright pious person, was also dragged into a torture chamber. He fell on his knees and prayed for his torturers and not a one laid a hand on him. I have learned that if I am not true to myself, then I am not honoring God or anyone else. And this is where worship begins for me.