I'll Bring You More Than A Song - #ec1dot16
I've led worship on and off since I was about 14. I remember one of my favorite songs to sing back then was "Heart Of Worship" and a line from this song stood out to me as I thought about worship this week. "I'll bring you more than a song, for a song in itself is not what you have required." In #ec1dot16 we talked about worship, specifically how worship has become synonymous with music. But is that the only way to worship God?
Worship In The Bible
I searched for the word "worship" on bible.com and found several verses. Many verses talked about worshiping God and God alone: "For you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God." (Exodus 34:14 ESV) Others talked about where people would go to worship: "Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship." (John 4:20 ESV) There were several verses which instructed people to bow down and worship: "Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!" (Psalm 95:6 ESV)
All of these verses could be describing worship as we define worship today, by singing. Singing worship to no other god but the Lord God makes sense. Singing up on the mountain or in Jerusalem makes sense. Even bowing down and kneeling while singing to God makes sense. But one verse in particular stood out to me and made me realize that the idea of singing as the only way to worship God is absurd. “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:2 ESV) I'm sorry, I just don't see the wise men knocking on the door, coming in and singing "We Three Kings" (although I've seen it in plenty of Christmas plays).
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More Than One Way To Worship
The reason why I specifically point this out is because many people today—whether they attend church or not—believe that singing is the only way to worship God. Even worse, some people believe the only time they can worship God is during the 3-5 songs played in church on Sunday morning. There was a time I thought that singing was the only way to worship God. I thought that you had to play songs in a certain order and raise your hands a particular way. I thought that if I didn't feel something (i.e. goosebumps) I didn't "enter in". While I still believe that music is an important part of worship, it is not the only way to worship God, nor should it be.
Here are just a few other examples of how you can worship:
- meditating on scripture
- talking about God
- reflecting on creation (i.e. nature walk)
- studying the character of God
There are many more ways to worship God, so please do not box yourself in with the examples I've listed here. Romans says to worship God with your life: "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship." (Romans 12:1 ESV)
My challenge to you this week: bring more than just a song. Ask God this week to show you how you can worship Him and then share it with us. It's like we talked about a couple weeks ago in the Jesus Gym; let each of us bring something when we gather together (1 Corinthians 14:26), whether it's a song or something you learned, it's all part of worshiping God together at Empty Church.