Music is a part of every culture, every civilization. It’s a deep part of being human. Mothers sing to their babies, lovers sing songs of devotion, when hearts are filled with joy people sing! People sing in honest moments; sometimes they sing when they need courage. Paul and Silas sang when they were in jail. We sing when we are happy and sometimes when we are desparate. Music is a big part of Christmas now, and it was a big part of the first Christmas, as well. Luke records that the sky was filled with angels and they sang, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Throughout Scripture we see music as part of worship. We also see physical posture as an indication of worship, bowed head, bowed knees, prostrate body with faces to the ground, hands lifted toward Heaven and dancing. Worship comes in many forms, but it flows from a humble heart that if filled with gratitude for God’s love, power and forgiveness. Webster defines worship as “to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor or devotion.” We are called to worship God! He alone is worthy of all our worship and all our praise!
Job 38:4-7; Ps 34:3; Mt 2:10-11, 26:30; Lk 1:28, 30-31, 38, 46-49, 2:10-12, 14; Ac 16:25; Col 1:19-20; He 1:6, 13:15-16; Re 7:9-10, 22:13
Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. (Ps 34:3) On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. (Mt 2:11)
If you wait until you feel like worshipping, you might be waiting a while. Worship isn’t just for times of joy and celebration, we are to worship God at all times and in all circumstances. It’s easier to worship your way into a feeling that to wait for the feeling to happen. You must be pro-active in all of your spiritual endeavors—Bible reading, prayer, church attendance, worship, etc. Discipline is involved, and we should not think that discipline diminishes the power of the spiritual experience. Re-think worship this Christmas by first expressing a humble heart. Pride inhibits worship. Humbling yourself before God is saying, “I’m your servant. I’m your child. You are great and I am small. I’m yours fully and completely.” Physically humbling yourself can go a long way to bring the heart and spirit in line. Get on your knees or lie prostrate on the floor. Recognize your position before an Almighty God who forgave you when you didn’t deserve it. Next worship God with a willing spirit. Be open to what God wants to do through you. Mary received the news that she would give birth by Immaculate Conception. Her response was, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Open hands, arms toward Heaven. Here I am Lord, your servant ready to do your will. And also worship God with an attitude of hope. God is going to redeem this world and end oppression and injustice. How can we not be hopeful? He is the Beginning and the End!
How do you worship? Where do you worship? What’s the difference between praying and worshiping? Describe a memorable worship experience. Do you feel self-conscious when you are caught up in worship? Why? Why are people inhibited to worship, yet paint their bodies, do the wave, and act out in strange and unusual ways for a sporting event? Explain psychologist William James’ statement: “I don’t sing because I’m happy; I’m happy because I sing.”
Does your worship need a makeover? Consider how you are worshipping God now and how you need to be worshipping him. What changes need to be made? Talk with a Christian friend and share thoughts and ideas.
Prayer (words taken from – Here I am to Worship by Michael W. Smith)
Light of the World You stepped down into darkness. Open my eyes let me see beauty that made this heart adore You; hope of a life spent with You! Here I am to worship, here I am to bow down. Here I am to say that You’re my God. You’re altogether lovely, altogether worthy, altogether wonderful to me. I’ll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that cross. I worship you my Savior and my Lord! In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.