Daily Dose, March 17 — Worship Life

  You shall fear the LORD your God; him alone you shall worship; to him you shall hold fast, and by his name you shall swear. He is your praise; he is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things that your own eyes have seen. (Deuteronomy 10:20-21)   What does the Bible say that worship is? The answer, unfortunately, isn’t so easy. In the Bible, worship isn’t a single-day activity or fixed event on a calendar. Rather, worship is a way of living. The Old Testament is an account of people trying to live their lives based on the guidance and worship of God. The worship of God is understood to pervade everything and every place. It is the umbrella under which all of life is to be lived. Worship, for the Hebrew people, was supposed to be a holistic approach to life. Because of that, there’s one Hebrew word that translates to “worship,” even though it may indicate rather different expressions of worship. In the New Testament, we see people trying to live out their life of faith when their lives are smashed up against competing ideas and philosophies. (Sound familiar?) Greek is a more nuanced language than Hebrew, and so the writers of the New Testament picked up on the fact that the one Hebrew word for worship, when applied to real life, could take on many different appearances and forms. The New Testament writers discovered that worship involves many different things, and so they employed different Greek words. And yet, in our English Bibles, we see the one word: WORSHIP. What if we looked at worship as something that we are CONTINUALLY DOING, similar to the Old Testament, Hebrew perspective? If someone were to ask you, “Are you going to worship this week?” wouldn’t it be great if we could always answer, “I’m already there.” At the heart of worship is returning to God what is rightfully his. God is Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer, and in worship we return all that we are to God. To do that, I believe that it involves something essential: REMEMBERING. And that’s where we can really easily see the link of how we’re better together when we worship together. Worship involves our remembrance of what God has done, and is doing, for us -- not only for us as individuals, but for our extended community of faith, and even what God has done for all people through all history. And why is it so important that we worship together? Because sometimes we all forget! Collective memory is usually more accurate than individual memory. We’ll forget certain details of something that happened, but when we combine it with the memory and story of others, it begins to take on a more accurate view. We worship God together by continually helping each other to remember, and challenging each other to live lives focused on what God has done and is continuing to do! Worship is a way of life that involves placing things in the proper perspective, with God at the center. So join me in worship! Today, right now, and in every moment thereafter. -- Rev. Brad Greene