“Let the whole earth sing to the Lord! Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be feared above all gods. The gods of other nations are mere idols, but the Lord made the heavens! Honor and majesty surround him; strength and joy fill his dwelling. O nations of the world, recognize the Lord, recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong. Give to the Lord the glory he deserves! Bring your offering and come into his presence. Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor.” – 1 Chronicles 16:23-31.
Worship is considered to be the singing and praise part of a church service. While that is part of it, worship is truly so much more than that. God is not interested in rote forms of worship; He is interested in a heart that glorifies Him and a life that honors Him. We were created to worship Him. We worship God because he is God. We love God because He first loved us. We worship God because of all He has given us.
But given our connected world, do we really need to go to a bricks and mortar building each week to worship? We have online streaming, podcast and other ways of hearing what is said in the church. But while listening online is fine when you cannot attend in person, church is much more than the message. It’s community. It’s worshiping with others, praying for others, hurting with others, serving others, and being involved in the lives of others. The local church is where we gather with other Christians and worship God. This does not mean that a church building is the only place we can worship (it’s not), but it is something the church is to do regularly. Regular church attendance also shows support for the work of God in our community and in the world.
In Revelation 7:9-10 we are given a glimpse of heaven. In it there is “a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a great roar, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!” God desires that God’s people from every nation, tribe, people, and language be united around Jesus, worshipping together.
Think of it this way. You can be a Christian and not go to church in the same way that you can be a family member and never visit anyone. But what would be the point of that? Our lives are immeasurably enriched over time by participating in a Christ-centered community such as church and small groups. Going to church opens us up to all facets of the body of Christ. Corporate worship brings together God’s word, prayer, and fellowship, and so makes for the greatest means of God’s ongoing grace in the Christian life.
From the earliest days, Christianity has been about community, where Jesus-followers learn, worship and grow together while serving each other and modeling Christ to a world in need of salvation. Give God the first fruits of the week by attending church on Sunday.
- Based on your religious experience, how would you define worship?
- Is true worship dependent on location? What role does the church play in worship?
- Is worship based on the condition of the heart?
- What changes could you make as a result of this week’s message?