The term Worship is plain enough, isn’t it? It is what we do every Sunday…or is it? Yes and no.  Certainly, we sing and pray, and this is part of the meaning of worship, but only the very beginning. 

If we understand worship in terms of praise and adoration, who or what are we adoring and praising if we do not understand G-O-D as a being?  And if we do understand G-O-D as a being, what kind of being needs or responds to our praising and adoring?  (Is G-O-D a narcissist?) Clearly, the concept of worship needs clarification.

I remember reading that if you haven’t been changed, you haven’t worshipped. If we accept this, worship is not something we do toward G-O-D, but something that allows G-O-D  to change us.

There are a number of words in Hebrew (the language of the ‘Old’Testament) used to describe the act of worship. There are at least ten other words that can be translated as “worship.” They carry connotations of service, work, creating, seeking, ministering, praying, singing, dancing, etc. They are not describing attitudes so much as actions in response to G-O-D in our lives. These words imply interaction and relationship. *

Indeed, inasmuch as G-O-D no longer represents some supernatural being for many people, worship is not about offering anything to such a being; rather, altering the way we live so that our lives manifests the ‘will’ of G-O-D; so that they exhibit the attributes of the ‘realm’ of G-O-D.

The Greek of the New Testament is similar. There are about thirteen words that are translated as “worship,” most of them indicating acts of service in our day-to-day movements.

Hence what we do on Sunday is only the starting point to a life of worship as we grow in faith and our lives are given to and for others in all we do.

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*Ref: Stace Gleddiesmith

See also “Thinking Worship”

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