The Act of Worship
There is a great hymn of the faith that reads: “I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene. And wondered how He could love me, a sinner condemned, unclean.” These beautiful words penned from the heart of Charles Gabriel in the year 1905 proclaim the magnitude of the very love of God in its most significant yet simplistic form. Each time the chorus is sung in unity with other believers, I never cease to be amazed at our Savior’s love for His children. To be candid, this love we proclaim is the motivation of our worship. We worship as an act of love. We love because He first loved us. This worship we engage in is experienced weekly by the many saints who gather in churches each Sunday to proclaim the very mystery of our faith.
Yet how perplexing it is to witness those who sing “I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus”, falsely proclaim such powerful words. The harsh reality of those who gather to worship is that we often lose sight as to who it is we actually worship. Our focus drifts more internal rather than external, selfish rather than selfless, prideful rather than humble, preferences over proclamation, and physical rather than spiritual. The evidence of such a disappointing and discouraging truth is the very perspective presented by the collective church regarding “worship”. There aren’t “options” for worship. In the glorious Kingdom of Heaven, there is no divide as to contemporary or traditional worship. To even associate such titles with the very act of worship is virtually blasphemous. Online worship is nonexistent. It’s a wonderful resource for a presentation of the Gospel, but to call it “worship” is incompatible. Granted, it is not necessary for us to join together exclusively in the church to properly perform worship, but this mode allows us to prepare our hearts to meet with God in a specified place set aside for such purpose.
We’ve allowed God’s children to divide themselves over worship, yet how contrary it is to God’s Word for us to separate during such a sacred period. To be in “one accord” requires unity. We unite in our worship to God. We stand amazed in His presence because of what He has performed for us. To place our hands in our pockets and listen to the music, check our watches, and argue over futile activities is foolish and disrespectful in the very sight of our Redeemer.
In this season of disunity among our nation, political climate, and our churches, it is evident that worship will be the only hope of our world ever uniting in “one accord”. To gather for worship requires us to consider less of ourselves, less of our desires, and less of our facilities and styles. All that matters in the true act of worship is that we present ourselves before God with an open mind and a pure heart, sincerely requesting the Lord to speak to us and work through us as we praise Him for all He has done for us.