Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How Do We Worship?

There are so many things in this world that we praise.  We praise music and the musicians who write it, we praise art and the artists who make it, we praise films and the people who produce, direct, film, and act in them, we praise buildings and the people who design and build them.  All of these things and people receive praise and adoration even though we never were directly provided for by these things and these people.  The entire act of our praise is outward, we don't want anything back, we don't expect to get anything from our appreciation.

Why would we praise and adore the Lord and all of a sudden expect something out of it?  We should approach worship as a way to give something to our Creator.  We may end up feeling wonderful and renewed and energized, but the goal is not to help ourselves.  God has already provided for us in every way we could ever possibly ask for, and we deserved not an ounce of it.

Thomas Carlyle said that "Worship is transcendent wonder."  Transcendent meaning exceeding or surpassing in degree or excellence.  Worship is not about us, worship is all about being in excellent wonder.  Much like the popular hymn "How Great Thou Art" states:

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works thy hands hath made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Carl Boberg is expressing all of the things that God has done.  He is not talking about himself or asking God to give Him something.  His "awesome wonder" is completely outward.

God doesn't have to come into our presence or bless us with joy and peace, but He chooses to because He loves us.  If we worship as a way to get something for ourselves, then how is that worship at all?

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