There is a lot of conversation going on lately about church. Is it a God-given right? Can church be closed by government officials? Can church be opened by government officials? What is safe? What is necessary? Is church the building or is it the people or a unique combination of both? What is church?
The above questions have become polarizing. National politics, theological politics, fears from society opening up and people being in greater contact with one another and fear from others who fear the repercussions of staying home and out of work. The repercussions of either choice may impact our physical health, but also our mental, emotional, and financial health. There are a lot of high emotions on every side of the debate.
My goal is not to dive into this charged arena of COVID-19. My goal is to bring to the forefront something that needs to be a part of each person’s life whether you are in favor of staying at home or reopening fully or any where in between. I believe this one opportunity is something we are all called to everyday, truly every moment. What is that? Worship!
I love corporate worship. I am a traditional worship kind of girl. Some contemporary songs mixed in by the amazing praise band we have at my home church is just about perfect. The passing of the peace with hand shakes and hugs warms my heart. The power of chatting with friends, seeing each other during happy, celebratory times and comforting each other in times of sorrow cannot be understated. But this is not the only way we can worship.
Worship in church with your faith community, while it cannot be replaced, is not the only time or way to worship! All of life can be worship. We can live our lives in a way that brings glory to God. We can live our lives, each day, praising God.
When I was much younger and would read or hear about how in heaven all souls spent all of their time worshiping God, I may have thought how boring. I mean it sounds nice and makes a beautiful image in your mind, but I just pictured standing in church forever. I love church. But being in church all of the time might not be what I want to do all of the time.
But let’s really think about what a full picture of a life lived in worship might look like. What might it feel like? How might it transform our lives and our eternity? How might it transform the world?
All of Life as Worship
1. Spend time with God
How do you spend time with God? Adam and Eve were able to. The Disciples of Jesus did. We can too. We spend time with God when we pray. Set aside time each day for prayer. Begin and end your day in prayer. Talk to God throughout the day. God already knows everything about you, but wants you to share your heart openly and honestly with Him any time and at all times. Be in conversation with God. God will not force himself upon us, but God is always desirous of a relationship with us.
2. Spend time in the Word.
Worship is a celebration of God. Short and sweet, worship should be a celebration. Deep, meaningful relationships are cause for celebration. Relationships grow deeper when we know more about those we are in relationship with. In this respect, a relationship with God isn’t any different. The more we come to know God, the more in love we fall with God. How do we come to know God better? Read the Word of God. We have been given the Word of God to study, to read, to enjoy. Dig in!
3. Delight in your time using the gifts God has given you.
As my mom would say, “That God is something.” She sure knew what she was talking about. God has given each of us gifts, talents, and a life to use them. When we use these gifts and talents as God intended them, then we are worshiping God. Have you been given the gift of organization, and you use it to serve God and others, then you are living your life in worship. If you are given the gift of music and you spend time using music to bring joy to yourself and others, then you are spending time in worship.We may be gifted with tending and growing a beautiful garden. Putting those gifts to use is a vehicle of praise as well. You may have the gift of creating delicious meals. Glorify God by creating, enjoying, and maybe even sharing your tasty meals. If you have been given the gift of mercy and you spend your time bringing care to those who are vulnerable in our society, then you are living your life in worship. There are countless gifts to share and therefore, countless ways to worship.
Whatever your gifts may be, use them! That is living life in worship. This is what the psalmist was talking about when he wrote, “My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.” Psalm 71:8. His mouth was filled with words of worship. Our words may be our vehicle of unending praise. Or it may be our actions of care for others that is our vehicle of worship.
Use all of your gifts and that is living life in worship. Living life in this way is never boring. I, of course, want to be back in church, worshiping with our family of faith. But, I am so thankful we can worship everyday, indeed every moment! Yet, another gift from God. Mom certainly was right. “That God is something.”