Why do we worship?
The obvious answer is that it’s what we do in church. But it’s much more than that. It’s what we were made to do, and worship is much more that a Sunday morning gathering (but more on that another time.)
At the core, we worship because of Christ. Worship means to give worship to someone or something. We give worth to Christ because or and as a response to God’s love extended to us long before we knew of God. The fact is that when we really understand (and believe) how much God loves us even though we don’t deserve it, our world should be rocked.
The thing is that it’s hard to understand and comprehend how God could love us so. We perhaps don’t think God could love us that much, or we don’t really believe we are worth being loved. We choose to live in a way that minimizes the power and impact of God’s love, and act like we have to earn God’s love.
Richard Foster in The Celebration of Discipline says this:
Worship is our response to the overtures of love from the heart of the Father. Its central reality is found ‘in Spirit and in Truth.’ It is kindled within us only when then the Spirit of God touches our human Spirit. Forms and rituals do not produce worship, nor does the formal disuse of forms and rituals. We can use all the right techniques and methods, we can have the best possible liturgy (a form and arrangement of public worship laid down by a church or religion) but we have not worshipped the Lord until Spirit touches Spirit. Singing, praying, praising, all may lead to worship, but worship is more than any of them. Our spirit must be ignited by divine fire.
We worship as a response to the amazing reality of God’s love. On the one hand, it is something we must choose to do, but on the other hand it is something that is truly beyond us. As with most things in the Christian life, worship is somewhat of a paradox.
The next time you gather to worship with others or spend time giving worth to God on your own, think about why you are doing it. It is becuase it’s “what we do” or is it a deep, mystical (can I use that word?), whole-hearted response to the indescribable love of the vast, unchanging Creator of the universe who loved us first. And because of that love, we are made right before God and invited into full membership in the family of God.
Why do you worship?