Saturday, February 23, 2013

Worship is not fellowship

Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship, for they will walk in the light of your presence, Lord. (Psalms 89:15 NLT)

Todd and I recently attended a conference for the Illinois Great Rivers Conference. It was a great opportunity to fellowship with pastors from our area, hear a great praise band (made up of pastors!), and receive some encouragement from a gifted speaker. Getting away for an entire day with my hubby was nice, too.

Dr. Ben Witherington III  spoke on a variety of topics including a biblical view about work and rest, but his words about worship resonated with me.

Dr. Witherington pointed out the origin of the word worship. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, worship comes from the Old English "weorthscipe", which means worthiness. The word worship can be used as a noun or a verb.

How many times have you heard (or said), "I'm not going to church because I just don't get anything out of it"? Are you treating worship as just a place, or as an action?

If worship is really about worthiness, than it's about humbling ourselves in order to encounter God. It's about giving rather than receiving. Can we focus one good hour on God, with love, wonder, and praise of God our goal?

Are we more concerned with what happens at coffee hour, or with asking God to reach in to fill the empty spaces in our lives?

The season of Lent is a good time to work on our hearts. But we can't do it alone. Reach out for God. He will always reach back.

That's why this Lent, I chose not to "give something up" as much as do something extra. I've been intentional each day about giving time to God. I try to start each day following a devotional or in prayer. I suppose this means giving up distractions in the morning: demanding kids, Facebook and email, endless chores. All of it can wait five minutes for me to center myself and give thanks to my creator.

How do you give worship?

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