Worship – A Final Thought
Greetings Summit faith family,
For the past few weeks, we have used this communication tool to share thoughts about worship. Throughout this process we hope one thing has become exceptionally clear – in its truest sense, worship is our obedient response to an encounter with the God of the Universe. An obedient response can be demonstrated in a variety of ways.
The apostle John records an encounter a Samaritan woman had with Jesus at a water well. As a result of her encounter with Jesus Christ, John records: Then leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people: Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ? They came and made their way to Him. (John 4:28-30) Her response was to bring others to meet Jesus. I believe God would consider that a genuine act of worship.
The apostle Luke records an encounter Peter had with Jesus Christ. Peter was a fisherman and at one point he and other fishermen had been fishing all night without catching anything. At the instructions of Jesus, Peter puts his nets down again into deep water. When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them and they came and filled both boats so full they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the feet of Jesus and said: Go away for me, Lord; I am a sinful man! (Luke 5:6-8) The encounter Peter had reminded him of his sinfulness and he confessed that before the Lord, another act of genuine worship.
Saul (the apostle Paul) had a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus. Saul had a mission in life, to destroy the gospel before it could become established by identifying disciples of the Jesus Christ and having them thrown in prison where many of them were martyred. However, his encounter with Jesus Christ resulted in life transformation. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him: Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? Who are you Lord? Saul asked. I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting, He replied. Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do. (Acts 9:3-6) The response Saul had to this encounter included changing direction of his life completely, another act of worship.
When we talk about worship, the first perception most have is a gathering that occurs on Sunday or some other regularly scheduled time during the week when Christians come together to sing, pray, engage in small group discipleship, receive weekly messages, fellowship with each other (sometimes over food), and worship. All of those activities can be a part of an authentic worship experience. However, those activities alone do not guarantee a genuine worship experience. When our local gathering is an extension of its individual members’ daily obedient response to an encounter with Jesus Christ, then what occurs during a weekly gathering of the faith family becomes more meaningful and life-changing. It becomes an event where Jesus Christ becomes the center of attention and the object of the worship experience.
When that occurs, those gathered can have the assurance of knowing that genuine worship has taken place.
Have a great week.