Churches and church blogs talk alot about worship. Some feel that worship is commanded of us and others wonder what the heck we’re talking about when we use the word. I’ve never seriously studied worship and whether or not we are commanded to do it, but one has to wonder why this activity is necessary at all? Doesn’t God know how we feel already?
When I was a new Christian I found worship meaningful, perhaps because the services I attended were meaningful. I heard the word of God in music, or in a hymn, or I heard a nudge in my spirit during the sermon. But now I find worship boring, something to be endured and gotten through, not an activity I look forward to. I am barely moved even though I try to focus my thoughts or send worship heavenward. Should I care that I am not moved? Should we care if God is moved? CAN God be moved to act in worship? Is it enough that I am merely there or does God command more than that? If so, WHAT is that command and why must we come to a separate building to do it?
The Hebrew meaning of worship is to prostrate yourself or to bow down. By doing this you pay homage to the deity you bow yourself to. Is worship then only an acknowledgement of a deity’s worthiness? Is bowing an Eastern custom lost to the religions of the West? Why can’t we “bow down” every day or every minute or even mentally?
Some churches worship by going through a ritual by which they make offerings to appease God and to save the people. Roman Catholics “resacrifice” Jesus in the Eucharist. Through transubstantiation, Jesus comes in the specie of bread and wine and confers grace on the communicants. All other liturgical churches do not claim to resacrifice but offer the ritual to relay grace under and with (consubstantiation) the form of bread and wine back to the people.
Baptists are even looser in their ritual and meaning since there is no ritual per se. There is no physical bowing of the knee or ritualized communion. I find this sad really, because the only evidence of worship in a Baptist church is the worship of the bible on the pulpit. We listen to it, we read it, we listen to others talk about it, we study it, and mark it up. It seems as if the whole focus is off God and placed onto a printed thing. At least Roman Catholics make God PRESENT in the Eucharist. Now there is something to worship!
Try as I might I can’t bring myself to reach beyond the intellectual in Baptist worship. I need something more, something tangible to refocus my worship outward. I pray that I can renew my spirit and learn to incorporate this kind of worship into my times with God.