A post from fellow blogger Heather inspired this post...
Our church services are a lot like many other Protestant churches. We have the traditional "worship songs" and prayer time. We have the Pastor's message. We have quiet time to really be "in the moment". Recently, our pastor and his wife (our worship director) have been incorporating more opportunities for individual worship into our services.
This led me to really consider how I worship. What goes through my mind, my heart, my soul. I grew up in a liturgical church where "properly worshiping" included standing, sitting and kneeling at the right time and knowing what to say when. I thought I would be in that church forever. I even did graduate studies thinking that God was calling me to help teach youth about the Church.
Then one day, my "worship experience" seemed flat. I was "going through the motions" more than really seeking God with my whole heart. After a long period of doing nothing, returning to what I knew, and seeking elsewhere, I found a new church home.
Suddenly, the comfort of routine was gone. I was worried that I "wasn't doing it right", whatever "it" was. I loved the "feel" of my new church. The pastor was wonderful, the people were loving, and somehow I could really sense the presence of God in that place. I knew in my heart that I was in a good church.
But I still never really THOUGHT about worship. Music is HUGELY important to me (I was a band and choir director in a former life!) and I rely on it often as a primary form of worship. Now I wonder if I've been relying solely on music. The focus of worship should be about WHO, not HOW.
Over the past couple of years, God has really been working in my heart and life. I have a lot of "baggage", as many people do. My pastor and church community have been a huge support system for me. I've been able to get involved with so much in our church and have come around to the thinking that anything I do can glorify God, if done with a servant's heart and loving spirit.
That is worship.
One of my resolutions for this year is to eat better and exercise regularly so I can lose weight and become healthier. Taking care of my physical body is not just self-preservation. It is wanting to be there for my children and husband. It is wanting take care of God's precious gift to me, to be a good steward of this temple.
It is worship.
“It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.” - John 4:23-24 (The Message)